The Colombo Plan provides economic aid to areas of south and southeast Asia. Headquarters are in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Member countries are Afghanistan, Australia, Bangla Desh,Bhutan, Cambodia, Canada, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, and USA. The Colombo Plan began in July 1951.
The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific was conceived at the Commonwealth Conference on Foreign Affairs held in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in January 1950 and was launched on 1 July 1951. Originally it was called the Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic Development in South and Southeast Asia. It has grown from a group of seven Commonwealth nations - Australia, Britain, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand and Pakistan - into an international organisation of 26, including non-Commonwealth countries.
When it adopted a new constitution in 1977, its name was changed to "The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific" to reflect the expanded composition of its enhanced membership and the scope of its activities.
The Colombo Plan was instituted as a regional intergovernmental organisation for the furtherance of economic and social development of the region` nations. It is based on the partnership concept for self-help and mutual help in the development process with the focal areas being, human resource development and south-south cooperation. While recognising the need for physical capital to provide the lever for growth, the Colombo Plan also emphasised the need to raise the skill level to assimilate and utilise the physical capital more efficiently.
There is a dark blue Colombo Plan flag, but the currently used flag has a lighter blue field with coloured emblem placed on a white disc in the middle of the flag.