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Overview of JICA Sri Lanka

The Government of Japan has been one of Sri Lanka's key development partners since 1954, and is today one of the country's largest bilateral donors.

Since opening the first office in Colombo – Sri Lanka's commercial capital - in 1982, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has extended its support to the Government of Sri Lanka to implement a wide range of projects across the country benefiting all Sri Lankans. Its efforts in strengthening infrastructure, expanding social services, developing human resources and rural communities, enhancing small and medium scale enterprises and in launching disaster management and climate change initiatives have largely sought to boost the country's overall economic growth and development.

JICA's assistance to Sri Lanka is in line with the country's mid and long-term development needs and economic policy framework and is based on the following priority areas.

Priority Areas

Improving the living conditions of conflict-affected populations in the North and the East:
The northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka were devastated by a 26-year conflict. Thousands of people were killed and displaced and the socio-economic networks paralyzed. JICA through its assistance to the northern and eastern reconstruction programmes aims to support the ongoing rehabilitation work in the regions and provides stability support to local and returnee communities by rebuilding damaged infrastructure, restoring livelihoods, developing human capacities and ensuring a safer environment.

Assisting the country to accelerate economic growth:
JICA's assistance to accelerate economic growth and lead the country towards sustainable economic development is two fold. Firstly, as strengthening infrastructure in the North, East, South and West is crucial for promoting foreign investment, alleviating poverty and reducing inequalities JICA supports the development of power and energy sources, reinforces the road and transport network including bridges, improves the urban environment through water, sanitation and solid waste management facilities and has upgraded the international airport and the country's main port. Secondly, JICA also assists the government to formulate priority projects in the areas of small and medium scale enterprises and to realize the full potential of the tourism sector.

Poverty alleviation and regional development:
In Sri Lanka as the economic disparity between urban and rural areas is wide JICA focuses its assistance on uplifting the agriculture and fishing industries, developing rural communities and expanding social services related to education and health.

Disaster management and climate change :
JICA provides both hardware and software assistance based on Japanese experience and knowledge of disaster management. Priority is given to floods and landslides which occur every year in the southwest region of Sri Lanka. As natural disasters are closely linked to climate change JICA also supports the government by providing technical assistance to establish the Cool Earth Partnership.

JICA has also responded to the needs created by the complex emergencies in Sri Lanka. As such the interventions focused on relief and rehabilitation assistance to tsunami-affected as well as conflict-affected populations.

JICA has come a long way from an implementing agency of Japan's technical assistance programmes in 1954 to also administering Japan's official development assistance – concessionary loans and grant aid - amounting to over 750 billion Japanese yen since 1976.

JICA Sri Lanka’s history in a nutshell

1954Japan joins the Colombo Plan and initiate technical cooperation programmes in Sri Lanka
1954The first batch of six Sri Lankans participate in a technical training programme in Japan
1962Overseas Technical Cooperation Agency established to implement technical cooperation programmes in Sri Lanka
1976Japan Bank for International Cooperation opens in Sri Lanka to fund infrastructure projects
1981The first batch of eleven Japanese volunteers arrive in Sri Lanka
1982JICA opens first office in Sri Lanka under a new technical cooperation agreement
2008JBIC and JICA operations merge, forming the new JICA


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