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News  


 

German helping hand for IDPs

The first phase of a three-year long German Federal Government funded project worth Rs. 275 million to revive livelihoods in the Vanni was kicked off yesterday.
The German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jens Ploetner handed over agricultural equipment worth over Rs. 48 million to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa as part of this project to revive livelihoods of displaced families resettled in Mullaitivu and Killinochchi.

The project spanning from 2010 to 2013 focuses on three main components. It has invested 850,000 € to revive the agriculture and fisheries sectors and 500,000 € to rebuild the educational infrastructure in the region. It also focuses on long-term community development by providing counselling facilities and providing greater opportunities for women in terms of access to livelihoods, education and enhancing their civic participation.
Over 3,000 returning families in Killinochchi district and 1,700 in Mullaitivu would benefit from the project. Currently a needs assessment is being done to include beneficiaries from Vavuniya as well.

“While resettled families are happy to return to their villages, many live in extremely dire conditions. Next to adequate housing access to better economic opportunities is their top-priority. That is where we hope to lend a helping hand,” said Ambassador Ploetner, and added that, “It is also a second chance at life for most people in this region, to create new hopes for the future and to regain normalcy.”

Mr. Ploetner also noted that Killinochchi and Mullaitivu had an immense potential in terms of agriculture and fisheries production and would be central to reviving the entire economy in the Northern region.
On behalf of the German Government, GTZ is implementing this project in cooperation with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Economic Development. Other collaborating ministries include the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Women’s Development and the Department of Education.