Sri Lanka gets credit line from World Bank for US $ 75mn to rationalize the social protection system

Sri Lanka has signed an agreement for a US $ 75 million line of credit from the World Bank to support welfare programs in the country and improve the fairness, efficiency and transparency of its security system Social security. The loan will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the concessional loan arm of the World Bank, through IDA's Scale-Up facility. It has a final maturity of 24 years, including a five-year grace period. The project will allow the government to develop a single citizen register of information on family structure and economic characteristics. The Benefits Board, created to manage the selection and payment of beneficiaries, develop new criteria based on registration data. A statement by the World Bank indicated that this will make identification more equitable and transparent and the benefits reach the homes for which they are intended. The project will also strengthen the government's ability to monitor and improve social protection programs. World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough and Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Dr. R.H.S. Samarathunga signed the bill on behalf of the World Bank and the government. "Program safety nets are a safety valve for the poor and vulnerable in Sri Lanka. By increasing spending efficiency, the project will make social spending more sustainable, while ensuring that beneficiary households all receive the Programs to meet new tax challenges, such as the aging of the population, "said Pswarayi-Riddihough. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Ministry of Political and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and the Social Protection Agency Information and Communication Technology (ICTA) Today, Sri Lanka has more than 30 programs The lack of digital documents limits their ability to coordinate, monitor and evaluate and prevent fraud and mismanagement. While the costs of the program have gradually increased over time, the coverage of the poorest households has declined. An analysis by the World Bank has shown that welfare programs have had a decreasing impact on poverty over the last decade. This is a problem when the population ages, a change that is likely to increase the demand for social assistance in the years to come. The log data will be updated periodically and records will be reviewed to ensure that only eligible recipients remain in the program. To avoid fraudulent claims, each individual will be identified using biometric technology. A "one-stop" platform will be developed to harmonize the management of social protection programs at the divisional secretariat level. This will help improve the customer service experience and reduce processing times for recipients. Through these initiatives, the project will help modernize the Sri Lanka protection system for the future needs of citizens. "Governments around the world are increasingly focusing on approaches to social protection systems," said team leader and chief economist of the World Bank project for Thomas Walker. "Harmonizing program delivery has the potential to improve the performance of each program and increase the overall benefit of social spending for the most needy," he added








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