France’s contributions to development in Sri Lanka [fr]

1/ In the Northern Province

In the humanitarian field and over the past four years and in addition to its yearly contributions to the European Union and the UN agencies for their operations worldwide, France has provided 2 225 000 euros to United Nations High Commissioner Refugees in Sri Lanka to support internally displaced persons and facilitate their return home.

Together with the Government of Sri Lanka and the Asian Development Bank, France is co-financing the Jaffna and Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Project. This project aims at giving people living in targeted urban and rural areas in the peninsula access to water and sanitation while strengthening the capacity of local organisations to protect and manage their water resources. The construction of the water supply, sewerage and sanitation networks will begin in 2014 and is due to end in December 2015. On completion, 300 000 people will have access to water and 100 000 people will benefit from the sewerage infrastructures, thus improving the health of beneficiaries, enhancing human and economic development and reducing the vulnerability of the populations.

France is helping financing the water supply component of the project, through a concessional loan of 35 M Euros to the Government of Sri Lanka. Among other structures, this loan will enable the construction of a lifting unit, a water intake, a raw water transmission main, a water treatment plant, a pumping station and a treated water transmission main.

2/ In the Eastern Province

Since 2005 France has been committed to support the Eastern province’s reconstruction and development through a major development project. Through a very concessional loan of 79 M Euros from the French Development Agency to the Government of Sri Lanka, the project focuses on the construction and rehabilitation of public infrastructure in the district of Trincomalee, such as:

-  roads (the A15 road between Trincomalee and Thirukkodiyamadu, the B10 road between Kantale and the seashore and the C-Class coastal road of Trincomalee district),
-  bridges (5 bridges on the A15)
-  the networks for water supply and distribution of electricity,
-  community development infrastructure (schools, libraries, medical centres, etc),.

Most of the work is almost completed and what remains to be done as part of the water component will be finished by 2013.

France’s action in the water sector also includes the rehabilitation of the water treatment unit of Kantale, financed through a concessional loan (12.5 M Euros) from the French ministry of Economy and Finances under the RPE - Réserve Pays Emergents - and completed by the French company VINCI. The water treatment unit was inaugurated by the President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Ambassador of France, Christine Robichon, on February 3rd 2013, and will enable 300 000 inhabitants to have access to water of a better quality.

In 2010, PROPARCO (the private sector arm of the French Development Agency), signed a second loan agreement for 10 M Euros with the leasing company Lanka Orix, in order to support its investments in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. This enables small and medium companies, which had previously no access to loans, to purchase new equipment and develop their activities. This funding aims at rebalancing regional disparities and boosting the recovery of the local economy.

AFD also supports Solidarité Laïque’s (a French NGO) program with a roughly 430 000 Euros grant authorized this year for the second phase of their project (2012-2015) which aims to contribute, in partnership with 3 national NGOs, to the goal of “Education for All” in the Eastern Province by strengthening capacities of the different actors in the field of education and improving exchanges between civil society and competent public authorities. This follows a first grant of 178 000 Euros awarded in 2010.

3/ Country-wide projects

AFD provided 10 M Euros for a project to uplift the construction sector in the Tsunami affected area through a very concessional line of credit of 9 M Euros managed since 2005 by Central Bank of Sri Lanka and through the construction of the Advanced Construction Training Academy – ACTA for 1 M Euros. ACTA is a vocational training centre for the construction sector which begins to have an international reputation thanks to its partnership with Northumbria University in United Kingdom.

In 2012, PROPARCO opened a new line of credit of 16 M. Euros with the Sampath Bank to refinance investments having a positive impact on environment (enhancing production capacities in renewable energies, improving energy efficiency in the construction sector).

Since 2012, as part of its mandate which aims at enhancing a green and inclusive growth, AFD is working with the Asian Development Bank on a new project to develop new drinking water systems in the Eastern part of Colombo, and to modernize the water pumping and transport systems towards the capital, for commitments up to 89 million of Euros.

In addition, the French Ministry of Economy and Finances has provided financing for several other projects under the RPE facility as part of the French Government’s continuing commitment to help Sri Lanka in the reconstruction process:

- A concessional loan of 9.5 M Euros enabled the improvement of the equipment of operation theatres and the provision of heavy medical equipment to hospitals in different cities (Anuradhapura, Karapitiya, Jaffna, Point Pedro, Mannar, Vavuniya, Akkaraipattu, Mahaoya, Monaragala, Kalmunai, Kantale, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee). This loan enabled the acquisition of six modular operating theatres, ten on site oxygen production units, two cardiac catheterization laboratories, a CT scanner and 20 defibrillators.
- A financing agreement signed with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Finances in December 2011 dedicates 22.05 M Euros to the building of 46 metallic bridges, for which a commercial contract was signed between the Road Development Authority and the firm “Matiere”in December 2012.

France is also supporting the financing of the extension and improvement of the Laxapana and Wimalasurendra hydro power plants, under the export credit theme of more than 40 M Euros.

Since February 2012, Coface, the French export credit insurance company, has started to guarantee sovereign risk on the public sector again.

(Last update: 21/05/2013)

Online 23/07/2013

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