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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF OPEC FUND COMMENDS SRI LANKA’S PERFORMANCE ON MDG GOALS

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Mr. Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development, met with External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris at the Ministry on Monday.

He is visiting Sri Lanka to sign an Agreement to provide a loan of 40 million U.S. dollars for the National Road Development Project of Sri Lanka.

Prof. Peiris expressed appreciation of the substantial contribution already made by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to the economy of Sri Lanka through support for projects like the National Highways Sector Project and the Kalu Ganga Development Project.

Minister Peiris also referred to excellent work done under OFID co-financed projects in Sri Lanka. A good example is provided by community projects co-financed with the Government of Sri Lanka and the Asian Development Bank.

The Director-General of the OPEC Fund congratulated Sri Lanka on the impressive progress made by the country especially with regard to three of the Millennium Development Goals ̶ education, children and health. He said that OFID is assisting with 12 projects in The public sector in Sri Lanka and 3 private sector projects. One of these has to do with lines of credit, in association with Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC). Particular mention was made of projects in the transport, agro-industry and education sectors.

Mr. Jasir Al-Herbish briefed Minister Peiris on innovative work being done by his organization in the field of “ energy poverty” . The aim of these initiatives, he explained, is to bring energy within the reach of less advantaged sections of the population, to facilitate their social advancement. The OPEC countries had commenced this initiative in 2007, four years before a similar programme was initiated by the United Nations, he observed.

The Director-General of the OPEC Fund, as the highlight of his visit to Sri Lanka, signed the Agreement in support of Road Development projects with Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Treasury, at Temple Trees in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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