US initiatives to boost Sri Lanka’s regional economy

September 19th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 19 (IANS) The US Friday announced the launch of a new multi-year initiative, funded by the USAID, to promote economic growth in Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged eastern province. The US embassy said in a statement that the new programme, Connecting Regional Economies (CORE), was designed to increase social and economic security “as part of the US government’s integrated strategy to address the root causes of conflict in Sri Lanka”.

“By addressing the disparity in economic development between eastern Sri Lanka and the more prosperous western province, CORE aims to establish conditions whereby sustained economic development can be launched,” the embassy statement said.

It said that the CORE programme will focus on improving the supply chain and market linkages between producers, processors and end markets in five districts of the eastern, north-central and Uva provinces.

According to the statement, the USAID-funded CORE program would be implemented by ‘The Services Group’, a US-based company, in coordination with five Sri Lankan government ministries.

The USAID has provided more than $1.9 billion in foreign assistance for economic development programmes, infrastructure, stabilization and disaster relief assistance for Sri Lanka since 1956.

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