Sri Lanka is an island nation in the Indian Ocean of more than 20 million people located within 20 miles of vital sea lanes that carry all of the oil moving from the Persian Gulf to Asia, and half of the world's container shipments. The U.S. Government been providing development and humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka since 1956 in the areas of agriculture, environment and natural resources, health, education, business development and trade, good governance, and humanitarian assistance.
Following democratic elections in 2015, USAID is supporting the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) reform efforts to develop a prosperous, democratic, and inclusive country where all Sri Lankans can enjoy the benefits of post-war development. This includes assisting the GSL efforts to strengthen its democratic systems, promote sustainable economic growth, and support marginalized and disaster-affected communities. USAID projects in Sri Lanka also help to advance the goals of the Indo-Pacific Strategy, a U.S. strategy to advance a free and open Indian Ocean region accessible to all.
Our democracy and governance work focuses on strengthening government institutions, promoting the rule of law; building a robust civil society; and supporting the independence of media and information integrity. On the economic growth front, USAID-supported initiatives promote investments, increase productivity, develop skills of youth, support economic reforms, and improve the business enabling environment. USAID is also helping to build local capacity to respond to disasters and thereby reduce risks.
Across all of our work, we prioritize building local capacity as well as local ownership, engaging the private sector, and helping to mobilize local resources to support the country's development agenda because our aim is to help Sri Lanka achieve self-reliance and inclusive prosperity.