COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (2 February 2005)- Sri Lanka will need approximately US$ 1.5 billion to effectively implement a recovery and reconstruction strategy according to a preliminary damage and needs assessment released today by ADB, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the World Bank.

The assessment, prepared in close cooperation with the Government of Sri Lanka, sets out clear guiding principles for the reconstruction strategy, with an important emphasis on the inclusion of affected communities in the planning and process of rebuilding. It estimates the overall damage to Sri Lanka at US$1 billion with a large proportion of losses concentrated in housing, tourism, fisheries and transportation. Total losses are estimated to equal 4.4 percent of GDP with about US$500 million in external financing required in the short term for 2005.

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