Colombo Plan

Colombo Plan for Co-operative Economic Development in South and Southeast Asia was established following a Jan 1950 meeting of COMMONWEALTH foreign ministers in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), to attack the poverty upon which communist political movements in Asia were thought to feed. Initially confined to the Commonwealth countries of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada, its membership soon widened to include most other S and SE Asian countries, along with the US as the largest donor. Specific development projects have always been arranged bilaterally by the governments concerned. Initial Canadian involvement was cautious, with a 1951-52 contribution of only $25 million. Ottawa's participation then grew rapidly, however, as its development-assistance programs expanded. India, Pakistan and Ceylon, together with Bangladesh and Indonesia, have been the principal recipients.