JBIC PROVIDES ODA LOAN TO SRI LANKA Supporting Health Services and Small Enterprises
1. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Hiroshi Yasuda) signed today a loan agreement totaling 6,346 million yen for the "Project for the Improvement of National Blood Transfusion Services" and "Small and Micro Industries Leader and Entrepreneur Promotion Project (II)" in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. With these loans, the cumulative ODA loan approvals for Sri Lanka number 83, totaling 491,283 million yen, excluding the Yen Loans provided by the former Export-Import Bank of Japan.
2. The loan extended to the "Project for the Improvement of National Blood Transfusion Services" will provide financial support for the construction of a National Blood Transfusion Center and supplying equipment and materials to the eight provincial blood banks and 48 regional blood banks, training and education of personnel, and supervision of the project implementation. The loan for the "Small and Micro Industries Leader and Entrepreneur Promotion Project (II)" will help meet their needs for low-interest loans. This is a project continuing from the "Small and Micro Industries Leader and Entrepreneur Promotion Project (I)", which was approved in July 1997.
3. With both the birth rate and death rate declining in recent years, Sri Lankan society is steadily graying, which has caused a shift in the trend of diseases. The country therefore needs to upgrade its health service system. In response, the government has tried to ensure a 10% annual increase in the supply of transfusion blood since 1993. However, the supply has remained chronically short of requirements and thus the enhancement of the facilities and equipment and strengthening institutional arrangements are urgently required. In response to these needs, the "Project for the Improvement of National Blood Transfusion Services", to which the Bank's loan is extended, will develop the foundation of a comprehensive blood supply system by providing the existing insufficient blood supply network with equipment and machinery and training personnel. This will contribute to upgrading the level of the health services in Sri Lanka. This is the first ODA loan extended to the health sector of Sri Lanka.
4. In the economy of Sri Lanka, small and medium sized enterprises as well as micro firms are playing an essential part in production and employment, and will continue to make a considerable contribution in the future economic growth of the country. These firms, however, face restricted access to financial resources due to a lack of collateral and high interest rates. Therefore, expansion of business is difficult for them at the moment. The "Small and Micro Industries Leader and Entrepreneur Promotion Project (II)" aims at encouraging small and micro sized enterprises to introduce equipment and improve technology, by supplying low-interest loans, thus contributing to the expansion of the production base and creation of employment in Sri Lanka.