How we are helping
2016-17 Total Australian ODA Estimated Outcome
2017-18 Bilateral Budget Estimate
2017-18 Total Australian ODA Estimate
The Australian Government is providing an estimated $27.7 million in total ODA to Sri Lanka in 2017-18. That includes an estimated $19.9 million in bilateral funding managed by DFAT.
Sri Lanka has experienced strong economic growth for more than a decade. Sri Lanka has reduced its rate of extreme poverty from 28.8 per cent of the population in 1995 to 6.7 per cent in 2013. However, poverty and economic marginalisation remain in many rural areas particularly in districts directly affected by the civil conflict that ended in 2009. As the Sri Lankan economy continues to grow, opportunities for greater two-way trade and investment will increase.
Australia's aid program assists Sri Lanka's progress as a secure, stable and prosperous partner in the Indian Ocean region. We are transitioning our program toward an economic partnership approach, with the aim of maximising the number of Sri Lankans who benefit from economic growth. This will also contribute to our long-standing commitment to furthering reconciliation. The following three objectives define our Aid Investment Plan for Sri Lanka:
Objective 1: Expand economic opportunities for the poor
Australia will identify and invest in target sectors and improvements to value chains that offer the highest potential to benefit the poor, especially women. We will work closely with the private sector and government to improve the relevance and quality of skills, technology, regulations and policies which will increase and stabilise the incomes of the poor.
Expand economic opportunities for the poor in Sri Lanka
Objective 2: Support government to be more responsive to the needs of citizens and the private sector
Australia will invest to improve the responsiveness of all levels of government to the needs of citizens and the private sector. This includes investments in innovative reforms to raise revenue, developing service delivery benchmarks, better targeting of services and making it easier to register small businesses. Our investments will better equip ordinary citizens and small businesses to influence policy.
Support government to be more responsive to the needs of citizens and the private sector in Sri Lanka
Objective 3: Increase gender equality
We will invest in overcoming the causes of gender inequality, including social exclusion and inter-communal and domestic-based violence. Our investments will expand women's opportunities to earn income and accumulate economic assets, increase the representation of women at all levels of decision-making and increase access to support services and justice for survivors of violence.
Increase gender equality in Sri Lanka
- completed construction of 735km of access roads, 86 market places, 58 recreation parks, 68 drainage systems, 10 community water supply projects and 10 rural electrification schemes in partnership with local authorities in the northern and eastern provinces and four adjoining districts between 2012 and 2016.
- helped the government to prepare a national tourism development strategy to attract US$3 billion in foreign direct investment, US$2.75 billion in foreign exchange and create 500,000 tourism related jobs.
- invested in business growth directly creating over 2,000 jobs and increasing incomes for 25,092 households, reaching up to 97,860 men, women and children between 2015 and 2017.
- co-invested in public education reform, resulting in 80 per cent of all school-age children completing a full course of education in 2016 compared to 60 per cent of children in some education divisions in 2011;
- helped the Forestry Department and communities to regenerate 23,000 hectares of forest and enable over 90,000 people, including war widows, to adopt innovative agricultural practices to increase their income and protect the environment long-term between 2012 and 2016;
- trained 148 women representing 15 political parties across 22 of Sri Lanka's 25 districts to contest upcoming local government elections; and
- endowed 151 new Australia Awards for Sri Lankan students to study in Australia in 2017, following a competitive selection process.
Our changing program
With an estimated total ODA budget in 2017-18 of $27.7 million, the aid program will catalyse reform and leverage additional resources from the Sri Lankan government, the private sector and the community sector. The program will continue its transition from post-conflict reconstruction to supporting economic growth and improving governance, reflecting Sri Lanka's emergence as a middle income country. We will focus on enabling and equipping other development actors – including the Sri Lankan government, private sector and civil society – to deliver sustainable economic growth.