The Sri Lankan government will launch a three-year development plan worth USD3 billion dollars to support the transition of operations in the northern part of the country from humanitarian to development. Sri Lankan government officials said they are expecting support from the Asian Development Bank and encouraged European Union officials to also back the plan. A Sri Lankan delegation led by Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara visited Brussels on May 21. Meanwhile, the government says there are only 62,810 internally displaced people remaining in the Menik Farm relief village in central Sri Lanka as of May 19. The government expects to reduce this number to 55,460 by May 31. Due to resettlement efforts, there are only 6 remaining relief villages in Menik Farm out of the initial 11, according to Sri Lanka’s Competent Office for the IDPs.
On the economic front, the International Monetary Fund says the country’s economy is improving and likely to pose a strong growth rate this year. However, the country’s budget deficit in 2009 was more than 9 percent of the gross domestic product, several points higher than the 7 percent target set by IMF.