The World Bank has pledged to grant additional US$233 million to Sri Lanka for the development activities within the next few years and reiterated it is prepared to extend its full assistance towards Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement yesterday. Accordingly, the new World Bank country director Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, who met Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on July 20, had stated that Sri Lanka is facing economic challenges successfully and marching forward effectively.

The meeting between Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was held at the Ministry of Finance. Serving country director of World Bank Francoise Clottes and Secretary of the Finance Ministry Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga also participated in the meeting.

“The total World Bank assistance provided for city development activities in Sri Lanka is US$202 million. Earlier, 147 million US dollars have been provided for Kandy and Galle development activities under the Strategic Cities Development project. This loan has been granted at a very low interest rate under a long period of repayment,” the Ministry said adding that the World Bank has granted US$155 million for development activities in Sri Lanka during the year 2015.

Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, a Zimbabwean national who joined the World Bank in 1995, is scheduled to assume duties in the month of August, 2016.

She holds a Ph.D degree in natural resources/forestry from Oxford University and has served as Director of Operational Services and Quality in the South Asian Region.