Canadian international assistance in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka ranks 73 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's 2015 human development index. It is prone to frequent natural disasters such as floods, drought and landslides.
Following the end of the long running civil war in 2009, approximately 270,000 civilians were still displaced from their homes. While the majority of these displaced people have now returned to their home areas, the extensive damage caused by the conflict means they face significant barriers to earning a living.
Sri Lanka is a parliamentary democracy, although it faces ongoing challenges with respect to governance and the rule of law. Sri Lanka became a lower middle income country in 2010, and has since maintained relatively high levels of growth. Consumer and investor confidence have increased and tourism has strongly rebounded since the end of the war. Nevertheless, there continue to be significant regional pockets of poverty.
While women play an active role in the economy, their participation in the formal labour force remains low, and they face systemic barriers to full equality in society.
Our international development assistance
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The goal of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance program in Sri Lanka is to continue to promote equitable and sustainable economic growth in a post-conflict environment while also emphasizing the important role of human rights in reducing poverty.
Canada supports efforts to:
- Increase skills for employment
- Develop small agricultural businesses
- Improve the business climate
- Increase women's access to economic assets and jobs
- Clear landmines to enable resettlement and the resumption of livelihoods
This includes support for developing and rebuilding small-scale agriculture and infrastructure, including irrigation systems, rural access roads, and agricultural storage and processing facilities. Canada's development program also helps internally displaced people return to their villages.
Improving language rights
Canada helps improve human rights in Sri Lanka by supporting the implementation of Sri Lanka's official language policy. This policy helps minority groups to access social services such as health, education and police protection in their own language.
Progress on aid effectiveness
Sri Lanka has endorsed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Canada and other bilateral donors do not provide funding directly to the Government of Sri Lanka. Donors have developed a common set of principles to guide their work in Sri Lanka and conduct joint evaluations where feasible.
- The High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka and Maldives
- Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PDF, 317 KB, 23 pages).
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