WB loan to develop three major towns
The World Bank has approved a $55 million loan to Sri Lanka to
improve urban services, preserve cultural and environmental assets, and
improve livability in Jaffna, adding the city to an existing project to
develop Galle and Kandy.
The loan will add development of rapidly urbanizing Jaffna to the
existing Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP), which is supported
by the World Bank and was originally approved in 2014.
“Well planned cities can be centres of innovation and job creation as
experienced in many parts of the world and this is an opportunity for
Sri Lanka to connect people to prosperity,” said World Bank Country
Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Françoise Clottes.
“There is substantial potential for economic growth in Jaffna, now
that peace has returned. An improved urban environment is a favourable
habitat for developing enterprises that will one day become the engines
of growth,” she said.
A recent World Bank study, ‘Sri Lanka: a Systematic Country
Diagnostic (SCD)’, identifies Jaffna as a rapidly growing, single-city
agglomeration in the Northern Province.
In the post-war era, the city has seen rapid growth and urban
expansion and there are significant demands for improved municipal
services. As communicated during recent consultations, the people of
Jaffna see a priority in improving city functions and livability while
preserving cultural heritage.
Guided by consultations with Jaffna’s citizens, the project will
attempt to improve the road network and rehabilitate the drainage system
while preserving the city’s ponds, which have played an important role
in flood management and which could be key to climate change adaptation.
The project also aims to preserve cultural heritage assets such as
public spaces and parks as well as encourage cycling as a means of
“Building trust among citizens and service providers is a challenge
and an outcome we hope to achieve through the additional finance support
to Jaffna through this project,” said World Bank Senior Urban
Development Specialist and Task Team Leader of the project, Zhiyu Jerry
“A City Stakeholder forum will be held under this project for
improved and continued citizen engagement to closely collaborate with
the service providers in ensuring the project investments are put to
profitable use for the people of Jaffna,” he said.
Financing for this project is provided by the International
Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s grant and low interest
arm, with a maturity of 25 years that includes a grace period of 5
years. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is the lead
responsible agency for the implementation of this project with the
active participation of the Jaffna Municipal Council and other
implementation partner agencies.