US$ 200 million Budget Support for Second Health Sector Development by the World Bank

Sri Lanka reports better health indicators than most developing countries and many lower middle-income nations. The remarkable achievements are based on our health programmes implemented under visionary guidance of the Mahinda Chinthana: Vision for the Future – Sri Lanka, the Emerging Wonder of Asia: the National Development Policy Framework for Development and Growth in Sri Lanka, the Five Year National Health Sector Development Plan (NHSDP) 2013-2017. As Sri Lanka is at a transition stage towards an upper middle income economy with higher living standards, it’s demographic, epidemiological and public health demands and challenges are evolving. The challenge of malnutrition is still remaining and a rising trend of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, mental health disorders and traumatic injuries have become a major challenge that the country faces. Therefore, the Government specifically targets to address the demand for quality health care focusing on non communicable diseases while giving necessary attention to communicable diseases and nutritional issues. Accordingly, the Government has increased its’ health budget during the recent past reaching Rs. 92 billion in total health expenditure in 2012 which was only Rs 19 billion in the year 2000. The budgetary provision for the sector for 2013 is Rs 125 billion. Almost Rs 150 billion is projected for 2014 and will maintain over 165 under the Medium Term Budgetary Framework.

In this endeavor, the World Bank having recognized the Governments’ efforts to improve the health system has extended its support for the country’s overall health sector development programme by providing a budget support. Thus, the Second Health Sector Development Programme (SHSDP) has been developed for a five year period identifying strategic activities to be implemented under the NHSDP covering few thematic areas such as malnutrition, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, maternal & child health and health system improvement. The total budgetary requirement for the five year Health Sector Programme is expected to be around US$ 5,170 million and the International Development Association (IDA) of World Bank provides US$ 200 million for SHSDP by way of a loan. The disbursements are expected to be released in tranches based on progress in health budget linked performance indicators (DLIs).

The Financing Agreement of SHSDP is signed today by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Planning on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Ms. Francoise Michele Clottes, Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives on behalf of IDA of World Bank.

The Government is pleased to note that the World Bank has extended its financial and technical support to Sri Lanka’s health sector through IDA credits as well as grants since the late 1980s with a most recent being the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund grant for Second Health Sector Development Programme in 2012 which is being utilized for the preparation of NHSDP and building capacity of the Central, Provincial and District level healthcare institutions.

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