Sri Lanka joins the World Bank’s Human Capital Project
The government of Sri Lanka has pledged to accelerate more and better investment in human capital – health, education and social protection – becoming the 82nd country to join the World Bank’s Human Capital Project.
At a high-level human capital summit today, at least 12 Ministers and Ministers of State, Secretaries and Secretaries of State, as well as several senior officials, including the Director General of the Ministry of Finance, met in person to discuss priorities to accelerate investments in human capital to increase future productivity and economic growth, and enable green, resilient and inclusive development.
The event also attracted around 200 connected virtual observers from around the world and based in Sri Lanka.
“Investing in people is central to our government strategy and essential to ensuring a successful recovery from COVID-19. We will continue to prioritize investments in human capital, improve early childhood education, ensure universal primary and secondary education, increase access and quality of higher education, as well as the technical and vocational education, improve the quality of the health care system to meet future health care challenges and support vulnerable individuals and families through Samurdhi and other safety nets and employment programs,” Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said.
Sri Lanka’s strong human development record is reflected in the relatively high Human Capital Index score before COVID-19, which is higher than the South Asia region and global averages.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on human capital accumulation in Sri Lanka, including job losses, a devastating learning crisis and worsening malnutrition. This has led to increased poverty and vulnerability, especially among groups that lack coping mechanisms and are already disadvantaged.
The World Bank is helping the government of Sri Lanka address its human capital challenges through targeted engagements in health, education and social protection, in line with the government’s national policy framework on human capital. prospects of prosperity and splendour.
“Protecting and investing in people will be key to Sri Lanka’s recovery from the pandemic and to boosting future productivity and economic growth,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for South Asia. South. “Sri Lanka’s membership in the Human Capital Project is timely for the country to protect its hard-earned gains. The World Bank stands ready to help Sri Lanka accelerate human capital development and pave the way for more inclusive and resilient growth.
The Human Capital Project is a global effort to accelerate investments in people for inclusive economic growth. It makes the case for investing in the human capital of the next generation; provides access to a measurement, research and analysis program that helps invest in and protect human capital; and supports peer learning for countries as they develop and implement accelerated priorities for human capital development.
Committing to the cause of accelerating investment in people, ministers attending the event made the following statements:
“Investments in education are key to achieving higher levels of human capital outcomes in Sri Lanka. Our ministry has made every effort to provide inclusive early childhood education and school education to all children. Opportunities to receive quality higher education and vocational training contribute to increased productivity, resilience and improved labor market outcomes. We look forward to working with the World Bank to invest in children and youth to realize their potential to contribute to the economy,” Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardene said.
“A healthy population is the foundation for improving a nation’s human capital. Prioritizing investments in nutrition at every stage of a human’s life and ensuring a responsive and robust health system are paramount. At the same time, leveraging technology will further improve the efficiency, quality and governance of health service delivery,” said Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella.
“Securing and restoring jobs and incomes will be central to Sri Lanka’s recovery from the pandemic. We need more ambitious policies and programs to address these challenges, as well as effective social protection strategies and social insurance programs. Sri Lanka can reap the full benefits of investments in human capital by improving labor market programs, especially for migrant workers. We look forward to working with the World Bank to improve Sri Lanka’s labor market programs, social protection and labor policies to realize the full potential of all Sri Lankans,” said Minister of Labor Nimal Siripala DeSilva.