Colombo, 16 August 2018 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka recently entered into a partnership agreement with the Government of the United Kingdom to extend support for Sustainable Resettlement of recently released lands in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The GBP 1,000,000 (US$ 1.3 Million) project will directly support more than 2,500 people returning to their homes in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa Districts.
Under this agreement, UNDP Sri Lanka will work in close collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka to facilitate sustainable return, resettlement and integration of conflict-displaced persons, whilst strengthening institutions for equal and transparent access to services. The overall intended impact is to improve the wellbeing of conflict-affected communities in line with the Sri Lanka Peacebuilding Priority Plan, agreed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the UN to support long term peacebuilding and reconciliation, and the National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict Affected Displacement.
The project will help those returning to their homes in the Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa districts by supporting livelihood opportunities in fisheries, agriculture and livestock, and facilitating access to local government services. It will also help families to rebuild their lives by promoting entrepreneurship through training in small business management, and by assisting in re-establishing community support structures and local civil society organisations.
Commenting on this project, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, H.E. James Dauris stated “The UK is very pleased to support the return by families to their villages. This is a crucial element of addressing the legacy of the conflict and contributes to the steady progress being made. There remains a lot to do and, as a partner with a firm commitment to working with Sri Lanka, the UK is supporting the rebuilding process as well as encouraging the Government to deliver on its commitments to the people of this country and to the international community.”
The Sustainable Resettlement project will prioritise empowering women and youth, promoting diversity and inclusion, and reaching vulnerable and marginalised communities.
Also speaking about this project, UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director Jorn Sorensen stated, “UNDP is pleased to join hands with the UK Government to support families to resettle and reintegrate back into their communities. Through this project and beyond, we remain fully committed to helping build a more inclusive, peaceful, and resilient Sri Lanka, to advance sustainable human development.”