News

Sri Lanka may lose MCC funding

By Easwaran Rutnam

Sri Lanka will most likely lost the opportunity to make use of $ 480 million offered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of America. The MCC board which met last week had discussed the delay in Sri Lanka not signing the agreement and its next move.

The board will now meet again in December for its annual selection process and will most likely select another suitable country, The Sunday Morning learnt.

Resident Country Director for the MCC Jenner Edelman told The Sunday Morning that Sri Lanka will most likely not be eligible to obtain the funds from 2020.

“There is not much we can do now. We are hopeful that under a new government, we will be able to get this approved before the December meeting. I understand this will take time but the timing is not ideal with the election,” she said.

Edelman said that the situation with Sri Lanka is unique so she was uncertain what the MCC board would do come December.

“We have never had a situation like this where a programme was approved several months ago and the same government that requested the grant and submitted the proposal hasn’t yet approved it,” she said.

However, Edelman added that it will be very difficult for her management to communicate to the MCC board in December that they should continue with the deal if it seemed Sri Lanka neither wants nor needs the grant.