Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-religious island nation with a population of 21 million spread over a land area of 65,610 km2. The country has made significant strides in its socio-economic and human development indicators that it led to graduating to lower middle-income country in 2010 and strong social indicators comparable with those in middle-income countries.
Sri Lanka succeeded in achieving the goals of ending extreme poverty and most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets set for 2015 but is struggling to maintain positive trends in relation to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets by 2030. Remaining development challenges include the promotion of growth and jobs and improved livelihoods in rural communities. There is an infrastructure gap notably concerning water and energy supplies.
Addressing the underlying causes of the 26 year-long civil war and the long-standing grievances of the population affected by the war remains one of the most important political challenges. An unprecedented series of terrorist attacks in April 2019 increases the risk of tensions and conflict further.
The Multi-annual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 for Sri Lanka (€210 million) focuses on:
- integrated rural development and
- democratic governance and reconciliation.
Thematic and regional programmes also provide support to internally displaced persons; housing construction, trade related assistance, sustainable consumption and production, investments in water and sanitation, and good governance and fundamental rights.
- Support to integrated rural development in Uva and in the central provinces
- Various projects under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)
- Aid to uprooted people (AUP)
- Various projects under the Asia Investment Facility (AIF)
- SWITCH Asia promoting sustainable production and consumption
- Public finance management
- Agriculture modernisation
- Trade related assistance
- Food safety and quality (under preparation)
Peace, stability, rule of law
- Various projects to support civil society and local authorities
- Support to Justice sector (under preparation)
- Strengthening transformation, reconciliation and inclusive democratic engagement (STRIDE)
- Strengthening reconciliation processes
- Instrument contributing to stability and peace (IcSP)
- Support to reduction of greenhouse gas