Bilateral Cooperation with the EU
Post tsunami reconstruction (2005-2007)
Approximately €115.3 million was made available in 2005 for reconstruction efforts following the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami. Building on humanitarian assistance interventions, the EU's grant assistance was allocated for livelihood development, environmental remediation, reconstruction of community and national roads. A further sum €5 million was allocated for Sri Lanka under a regional programme for environmental reconstruction and rehabilitation of Tsunami affected areas.
European Union –Assistance to Conflict Affected People (EU-ACAP) €53.2 million
EU-ACAP was launched in 2009 as the first programme under the "Multiannual Indicative Programme" (MIP) covering the period 2007-2013. The objective was to support the early rehabilitation needs leading to long term development in the North and the East of the country. Implemented by UN agencies and international NGOs, together with local organizations, this programme was formulated during the transition from a conflict to a post-conflict situation.
European Union – Support to Socio- Economic Measures (EU- SEM) €15.8 million
The second programme under the MIP covering the period 2007-13 was the EU-SEM programme. It consisted of grants for the development and promotion of socio-economic measures (primarily in the Eastern Province and Northern Province, with a significant focus is on the districts of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi).
European Union Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP) €60 million
The EU-SDDP programme is the third and only ongoing programme committed under the MIP covering the period 2007-2013. The €60 million programme aims to support integrated socio-economic development in Sri Lanka with focus on poverty reduction, provision of basic infrastructure and services for the vulnerable populations, local economic development and strengthening of local governance. Priority sectors were selected in line with the priorities set out by the former Government through the development strategy "Mahinda Chinthana"and the district development plans for the focus areas. The inception phase of this programme commenced in June 2012, however the Government suspension in 2013 resulted in almost one year delay in the implementation. The programme is implemented through 5 UN Agencies: FAO, UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, ILO and IFC (World Bank) under Joint Management.
Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP) for the period 2014-2020
The MIP 2014–2020 for Sri Lanka allocates up to €210 million under the single focal sector of "Integrated Rural Development". It extends target areas by adding lagging Uva and Central Provinces to traditionally supported Northern and Eastern Provinces. The first programme was committed in 2015 with €30 million to support the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the districts of Monaragala, Badulla in Uva Province and Nuwara Eliya and Matala in the Central Province. A call for proposals is expected to be launched in April 2016. The Financing Agreement is to be signed during the visit of the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development in March 2016.
The regional programmes complement the bilateral interventions, mainly through Aid
to Uprooted People, Green Economy, Asia Investment Facility and Trade related assistance.
Aid to Uprooted People
The EU has contributed €50 million towards owner-driven reconstruction of over 20 000
houses for war-affected returnees (internally displaced persons) in the past decade. A successive programme to add an additional 3 000 owner driven 'developmental' houses for EUR 14 million has been signed in December 2015.
Green Economy - SWITCH ASIA - Promoting sustainable consumption and Production
This programme aims to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction in Asia and mitigate climate change through the promotion of sustainable consumption and production. Sri Lanka benefitted from 4 grant projects with total budget of €4.8 million, of which one is still ongoing (bio-gas).
The SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component for Sri Lanka, with a funding contribution of €1.8 million has started in January 2015. It provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Environment (now Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment), to support policy development, implementation, monitoring and dialogue in the area of sustainable development.
Asia Investment Facility (AIF)
The EU will support the National Water Supply and Drainage Board through the programme "Sanitation and Hygiene Initiative for Towns" (SHIFT) implemented by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Development, AFD). The €5.7 million grant functions also as leverage for some EUR 200 million loan facilitated by the AFD. The bilateral agreement between France and Sri Lanka is expected to be signed in March 2016.
Trade Related Assistance
EU is preparing a trade related technical assistance (TRTA) project which aims to contribute to Sri Lanka's inclusive trade-led growth and regional integration, thereby contributing to jobs and poverty alleviation. This project with a total budget €8 million is expected to start in April-May 2016. The Financing Agreement is to be signed during the visit of the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development in March 201
The EU also supports human rights and civil society organisations/local authorities through its thematic instruments such as European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), Civil Society Organisations/Local Authorities (CSO-LA) in fields as diverse as women and children's rights, governance and fundamental rights. There have been around 75 projects for a total value of €20 million managed by EU.
The European Investment Bank signed an agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka in 2006, launching a credit line of €160 million to finance small and medium scale projects in infrastructure, tourism, energy and telecommunications and other sectors affected by the tsunami. A new €90 million loan to support SME's and renewable energy was signed in November 2013. 70% of the loan is designed to support the SMEs' development in the country and 30% to promote the use of renewable energy.
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) had a presence in the country
since 1994 and has provided aid to those affected both by the conflict and natural disasters. The overall contribution to Sri Lanka in the past ten years amounts to approx. €170 million. The ECHO Regional Office in Colombo closed in July 2013. Projects, mainly related to droughts and floods, continue to be managed by the ECHO Office in New Delhi.
Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace
Prior to the parliamentary elections in 2015, the EU mobilised support to domestic electoral observer organisations for an amount of €1.2 million. Support was provided through Transparency International to two local election observer organisations (PAFFREL and CaFFE), financing the activities of some 15,000 domestic observers. The programme started in summer 2015 and lasts for 18 months. It is aimed at increasing citizens’ understanding of democratic rights through voter education. Other elements include media training and strengthening the skills for conducting long term election observation.