UNDP, UNICEF and UN-Habitat would also come together to provide technical support to develop the National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict Affected Displacement to provide access to an integrated and sustainable package of socio-economic services to help returnees rebuild their lives.
Upon returning however, conflict affected returnee families in the North did not possess land tenure documents as these documents had been lost during the conflict. As part of this Programme, UN-Habitat supported over 20,000 conflict affected returnee households in the Northern Province by providing security of land tenure.
This initiative was implemented through the Ministry of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, ensuring that identified land plots were professionally surveyed and legal land tenure documents were provided to families by the Land Commissioner’s Department.
“As the UN agency for human settlements, UN-Habitat is mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. In Sri Lanka, UN-Habitat works towards the development of sustainable human settlements through policy support to the Government as well as direct assistance programmes. The agency has been assisting communities to recover from disaster situations, playing a pivotal role through the provision of technical expertise, policy level inputs and coordination of the shelter response. Our post conflict recovery support to Sri Lanka has included permanent housing, community infrastructure and land tenure initiatives in the North and East,” stated Chanaka Talpahewa, Country Programme Manager for UN-Habitat.
Complementing this, UNICEF has supported nearly 2000 children to access education. UNICEF also drove the improvement of health centres across Muthur, benefitting 90,000 people and working with over 1000 vulnerable families and at-risk children in the district.