Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, the new World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives is visiting Colombo this week to meet with the Sri Lankan Government, and other development partners, to discuss the status of the World Bank Group operations and how the Bank can continue to support the country’s development priorities in the most impactful manner.
During the four-day visit, Pswarayi-Riddihough accompanied outgoing Country Director, Francoise Clottes to the introductory meetings with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake and the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Indrajith Coomaraswamy. She also spent a day in Maldives meeting key government officials there.
In her new position effective as of August 1, 2016, Pswarayi-Riddihough’s priorities will be to implement the new Country Partnership Frameworks for Sri Lanka and the Maldives in partnership with the respective governments, provide oversight on portfolio management and quality issues, while working closely with clients and other development partners to provide timely and effective implementation support.
Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, a Zimbabwean national, joined the Bank in 1995 as a Young Professional. She earned her PHD from Oxford University in 1993. She has since held various operational and corporate management positions. She has worked in 4 different regions, South Asia, East Asia, Middle East and North and Africa and the Africa Region. Her most recent posting in South Asia was as the Director of Operational Services from 2012 to 2014.
World Bank Group in Sri Lanka:
The recently approved Country Partnership Framework for Sri Lanka identifies the priority areas of engagement for the World Bank Group in Sri Lanka. The current active World Bank portfolio comprises 14 projects (12 IDA and 2 IBRD operations) with a total net commitment value of US$1.8 billion. Urban and rural development accounts for 27 percent of the overall portfolio followed by water (17 percent) and resilience to climate and disaster risk (14 percent).
The education sector (14 percent) and health sector (11 percent) continue to be core sectors in the WBG portfolio. This fiscal year (FY17), the lending program is expected to include five new projects, supporting competitiveness, financial sector modernization, social safety nets, higher education and renewable energy development.
Trust funds have continued to play an important role in the implementation of Sri Lanka’s development objectives, supporting both analytical work and technical assistance, as well as providing co-financing for projects. The portfolio currently comprises five recipient-executed trust funds with a total net commitment value of approximately $54 million.
The World Bank Group’s program of support to Sri Lanka continues to benefit from close coordination and collaboration with development partners.