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 Françoise Clottes, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and
the Maldives.

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 of Sri Lanka. 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.