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Monday, April 22, 2024

ADB to provide Rs.52 bn financial assistance

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide Rs. 52 billion (USD 145 million) loan to provide assistance to Samurdhi recipients, Elders, CKDU patients and differently able persons for the year 2022. Secretary to the Treasury, Mahinda Siriwardane said yesterday that a sum of USD 145 million was received by the World Bank for this programme that was carried out early this year and a further USD 145 million package would be provided by the Asian Development bank to fund the balance programme for year 2022.

It was also disclosed that Rs. 51 billion was disbursed for this programme to date for 2022.

In addition, over 61,000 families were also provided nutritional value packs each valued at around Rs. 10,000 by the government recently through a grant from the World Health Organization.

Chairman of the Welfare Benefit Board, B. Wijayarathne said that in addition to the current recipients the Board will also select around 600,000 new persons who were made financially unstable due to the current economic crisis to be amongst a new set of recipients added to this category.

“Also new people have applied to these categories and with all this the total number of people falling in to receive financial benefits will then be increased to 3.9 million,” he said.

He however said that they have observed that there was no decline in the number of Samurdhi recipients since it was introduced 1995 and in some instances one family gets around three different financial allowances.

Hence, we have now decided to streamline these recipients and develop a new scheme to provide ‘financial hand outs’ to those who actually needed them. Newspaper advertisements have been already published and in addition around 14,000 staff will be deployed to collect information from people for this process.

These enumerators will use their personal mobile phones to visit applicant’s homes and store data which will later be used for the App. This process will be completed by December 2022.”

He stressed that political influence would not be considered when selecting applicants to receive these financial benefits.

Meanwhile, the Welfare Benefit Board operating under the Ministry of Finance will introduce a QR system similar to the United Nations QR code system used globally to pay financial allowances of around 2.7 million Samurdhi recipients, Elders’, CKDU patients and differently able persons in the future.

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