Although Norway will close its embassy in Colombo next year, development assistance under NORAD and NorFund and other forms of aid will continue.
This assurance was given by Norwegian Ambassador Trine Jøranli Eskelad who met Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday.
The Prime Minister thanked the envoy for Norway’s support to Sri Lanka for more than 60 years, which began in the 1960s through the cooperation of NGOs in the fisheries sector.
In 1976, Norway launched government-to-government development cooperation in which an integrated rural development program in the southern district of Hambantota became the flagship.
Eskelad said the NorFund will provide more help once new collaborative programs are developed. Norway’s PSD support to Sri Lanka an estimate of the PSD portfolio in Sri Lanka indicates average grant funding of around NOK 25 million per year during the 2000s, or around 10-15% of Norwegian development assistance total during the period.
The prime minister urged Norway to consider investments in fisheries, renewable energy and agriculture in addition to information technology and marine and ocean science. Prime Minister’s Secretary Anura Dissanayake was also present on this occasion.