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Our Work

Speeches Shim

Credit: USAID BIZ+
Credit: USAID BIZ+

An island nation located along major trade routes in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is critical to maritime and regional stability. Over recent years, significant political, social and economic change has swept across the island. The United States partners with Sri Lanka to strengthen democratic governance, foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth, promote social harmony, and forge a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

USAID works to strengthen Sri Lanka’s democracy, promote economic prosperity, and improve natural disaster and risk management practices. To build self-reliance, USAID helps strengthen Sri Lanka’s ability to plan, finance and implement its own development solutions.


Home to more than 21 million people, Sri Lanka continues to navigate a path toward self-reliance after a 26-year conflict and several natural disasters. Recently reaching upper-middle-income status, Sri Lanka faces slow economic growth, high youth unemployment, income inequality, policy uncertainty, and impacts of the 2019 terrorist attacks. USAID partners to support Sri Lankan aspirations for democratic governance and expanding inclusive economic growth.


In recent years, historic reforms have increased women’s representation in government, reinforced government transparency and supported Sri Lankan-led reconciliation efforts. To sustain these hard-earned democratic gains and boost Sri Lanka’s self-reliance, USAID helps to further strengthen key democratic institutions, build a robust civil society, and promote the rule of law. USAID also works to improve Sri Lankans’ access to balanced and reliable news, and partners with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka to strengthen dialogue between multi-ethnic communities.


Little foreign investment, a lack of citizen access to finance and a skills gap hamper economic growth. USAID strengthens public procurement, promotes private investment and trade, and forges partnerships with small- and medium-sized local businesses to create jobs and increase incomes. To boost economic productivity, USAID helps increase access to technical and vocational education, as well as entrepreneurial opportunities, for more than 40,000 young Sri Lankans.


Frequent natural disasters have led to displacement, destruction and an increase in the need for quality basic services. Building on decades of partnership, USAID is helping to strengthen government capacity to prepare and respond effectively when disasters strike. USAID engages directly with impacted communities, focusing on improving access to safe drinking water and providing psychosocial services.