Washington: The World Bank announced to approve a USD 75 million International Development Association credit to Sri Lanka.
This will support the second phase of a community driven development program that has touched the lives of nearly one million poor Sri Lankans in the three provinces of Uva, Southern, and Sabaragamuwa, the Bank said.
The Second Community Development and Livelihood Improvement Project, known also as Gemi Diriya or 'the strength of the villages,' is active in over 1,000 villages, helping communities identify, prioritise, plan, fund, and implement their own development needs.
About 870,000 people in the most remote and poorest villages have benefited from community infrastructure and productive investments such drinking water, access roads and bridges, ICT centers, access to credit, markets, skills and income generation, the Bank said.
"Gemi Diriya has proven remarkably successful in empowering the poor and raising incomes in some of Sri Lanka's poorest provinces," said Naoko Ishii, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka.
"Key to its success is the focus on social services, skills development, access to micro-finance for small businesses and micro-enterprises, and partnerships with the private sector," he said.