Partnerships with the Private Sector enable development efforts to reach and support a wider network of people, enhancing development benefits, and contribute to achieving a sustainable development pathway in Sri Lanka. In the context of the ongoing socio-economic crisis, creating decent work, building future-oriented skills, spurring innovation, and providing essential infrastructure and affordable goods and services is essential to empower those who are in vulnerable livelihoods.
To this end, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka to promote financial empowerment and inclusion of women through economic development towards a green development pathway for Sri Lanka. The partnership will focus on two key areas; promoting women’s economic empowerment through livelihood and business skills development, knowledge exchanges and establishing market linkages across the value chain; and livelihood development programs for smallholder farmers, covering areas such as business development, product diversification and financial literacy, with a focus on sustainable and environment restoration.
Commenting on the collaboration, Mr. Sanath Manatunge, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Bank of Ceylon of Ceylon PLC stated, “Women empowerement and green inititiaves are two key stratergic focus areas of the Bank and we are pleased to work together with UNDP on an inititiave that combine both these aspects. The guidance and the expert knowledge provided by UNDP in this spehere will certainly be a boost towards our activities in these areas.”
Speaking on the partnership, Ms. Malin Herwig, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka commented, “UNDP is proud to partner with Commercial Bank to support green recovery efforts at a critical juncture for Sri Lanka. It will encourage and promote greater private sector stewardship, with partners who bring in the value of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their work. From linking communities, to the upliftment of women in particular through skills training, the development of their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and the Agriculture and Sustainable Tourism efforts, this partnership will look toward operationalizing a green recovery for the country”
This MoU is part of UNDP’s wider support to the Government of Sri Lanka to contribute towards shaping the national green development agenda through a multi-stakeholder approach to achieve sustainable long-term development objectives of the country.
Pictured here (L-R): Ms. Dinali Jayasinghe, National Project Coordinator, UNDP GEF-SGP; Ms. Awandi Kohilawatta, Partnerships and Pipeline Coordinator, UNDP Sri Lanka; Mr. Raashid Riza, Partnership Specialist, Policy & Engagement, UNDP Sri Lanka; Ms. Malin Herwig, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka; Mr. Sanath Manatunge, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC; Mr. S. Prabagar, Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC; Mr. Hasrath Munasinghe, Deputy General Manager, Marketing, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC; Ms. Kamalini Ellawala, Senior Manager, Sustainability, Women Banking and CSR, Commerical Bank of Ceylon PLC