Sri Lanka has emerged as a lower middle-income country following the end of its 26-year civil conflict in 2009. Supporting Sri Lankan economic growth and reducing regional inequalities is in Australia’s national interest. The maintenance of peace and stability will be important in the continued growth of trade, investment, education exchange and tourism. In 2012-13, two-way merchandise trade between Australia and Sri Lanka was $340 million.
Australia works with the Government of Sri Lanka to expand economic opportunities for the poor and address barriers to participation and productivity in Sri Lanka. Aid investments target local infrastructure, improve access to quality education services and strengthen local governance.
Students from Kiriwaneliya Singla School (credit: DFAT).
In 2014-15, Australian assistance to improve infrastructure in rural district will include:
- support to the expansion and maintenance of local infrastructure including roads, irrigation systems and market place facilities that will help generate economic opportunities and livelihoods for Sri Lankans living in rural areas. Australia’s support will enhance the capacity of local government authorities to manage infrastructure development
- support to a Community Forestry Program (2011-15) that will increase the incomes of over 5,000 people and protect more than 4,000 acres of land from deforestation.
Australia will support education and skills development of Sri Lankans through:
- the Sri Lankan Government’s Education Sector Framework and Development Program to improve the quality of primary and secondary education across the country. Over the period 2011-16 Australian assistance will support the upgrading of school facilities and the training of 215,000 teachers, 15,000 principals and 3,500 education administrators
- helping to promote gender equality, social cohesion and inclusive education across the country
- providing up to 30 Australia Awards Scholarships for Sri Lankans to study at Australian universities. Past scholars are linked by a strong alumni network in Sri Lanka.
Students wash their hands at Lindula Maha School (credit: DFAT).
Australia will support community rehabilitation and reconciliation by improving living standards for the most vulnerable and enable citizens to advocate effectively for the services they need.
Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.
Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.