EU provides Rs.4bn to increase efficiency in justice sector & reduce caseloads in courts

The European Union (EU) announced the signing of three grants worth Rs. 8.26 billion under which Rs. 4.16 billion would be allocated for a Justice Sector Support programme to reduce caseloads in the courts and increase efficiency in the justice sector.

The Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka said the Justice Sector Support programme was designed in close consultation with the relevant actors and institutions to focus on providing capacity development and technical assistance.

“The overarching goal is to increase efficiency and effectiveness, reduce caseloads in the courts, and in particular to improve access to justice. The programme will be mainly implemented by UNDP and UNICEF,” it said.

The Rs. 8.26 billion grant will also help Sri Lanka to improve food safety and strengthen efforts to mitigate climate change.

The Rs.2.31 billion grant will help improve food safety, quality, and promote organic agriculture while Rs. 1.79 billion will be utilized to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Industrial Sector and to strengthen efforts to mitigate climate change.

The grants were signed by Secretary to the Treasury, S.R. Attygalle and were presented by the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Sri Lanka, Denis Chaibi.

Appreciating the continued close collaboration and the very cordial partnership and support for Sri Lanka extended by the EU, the Secretary to the Treasury said that these grants will reinforce the Government’s efforts to strengthen the justice sector, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Sri Lanka and to improve food safety and quality targeting exports.

Ambassador Chaibi said these three grants are a tangible pledge of support by the EU to Sri Lanka targeting three priority areas.

“The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of strengthening a country’s justice system to ensure citizens are able to access justice in a timely, effective, and fair manner,” he said.

Ambassador Chaibi noted that EU support to improving food safety will benefit producers and consumers alike, while boosting the potential export of organic agricultural products to the EU and other markets.

He added that the EU and Sri Lanka will continue to work together to tackle the common challenges of climate change, a major EU priority.