Country Reps of WB, ADB, JBIC, UN to meet LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 February 2005, 11:36 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Country Representatives of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and the United Nations (UN) are visiting to Kilinochchi on Tuesday to meet LTTE's Head of Political Wing, Mr. S.P. Thamilselvan to discuss the post-tsunami rebuilding process. This was revealed at a joint press briefing held at the Trans Asia Hotel in Colombo on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Director of the ADB, Alessandro Pio said the "Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment Report" jointly prepared by the three top donors was sent to the LTTE last week while the LTTE, on their part, has also sent a copy of their survey to the donors, in addition to the government's report.

He said that the discussions with the LTTE leadership would focus on the area of differences among the reports and progress made with regard to the proposed joint mechanism to disburse the aid resources equitably and efficiently.

The Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment Report released last Wednesday said that the tsunami-devastated Sri Lanka would need not less than USD 1.5 billion to rebuild the country.

The assessment report sets out guiding principles for the reconstruction strategy, with an important emphasis on the inclusion of affected communities in the planning and process of rebuilding.

It estimates the overall damage to Sri Lanka at USD 1 billion with a large proportion of losses concentrated in housing, tourism, fisheries and transportation. Total losses are estimated to equal 4.4 percent of GDP with about USD 500 million in external financing required in the short term for 2005.

Answering to a question with regard to the much-talked efficiency in handling the post-tsunami scenario in the LTTE-controlled, the Country Director of the World Bank, Peter Herrold said that "efficiency in an organized military structure always tends to be high".

His acknowledgment has come amidst reports of government's acceptance of huge lapses in distributing its own urgent relief assistance.

Admitting that the external aid resources have to be channelled through the state, the donors however said that if the government asks the private NGOs to channel all their funding through it, then it simply amounts "to ask them to go away".

They also expressed hope that the discussions currently underway between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE would lead to reaching an agreement on the proposed joint mechanism to handle the supply of aid.

 

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