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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2965

Sri Lanka: UNDP and private sector to provide livelihood assistances to tsunami-affected women.

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 16 May, ( The UNDP and Sri Lanka’s private sector have entered an agreement to assist tsunami-affected women to become micro and small-scale entrepreneurs in the Matara district.

The UNDP spokesman Sanaka Samarshinha says their first project will kick off from the Matara district with financial assistance from SunTel, Sri Lanka’s second biggest fixed telephone line provider.

The UNDP has identified 60 women as beneficiaries. ‘We particularly focussed on women who were affected by the tsunami and not had any attention paid by the government or any other institution. Under the project the UNDP expects to assist other tsunami-affected people but still there are no funds, he said.

Speaking to the media, he said the UNDP has also taken steps to set up a training centre and the marketing outlet in the Galle Fort and this centre would market their products.

The UNDP and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka has entered into an agreement to sell their products and the regional trade chambers will benefit these people, Mr.Samarasinha said.

SunTel has allocated Rs 813,000 for this project. The UNDP spokesman said that the UNDP continues to seek and encourage more private sector engagement in the development sector in Sri Lanka to rehabilitate affected livelihoods. The project is reconstructing lost infrastructure related to livelihoods, providing capacity development training and has established a revolving loan fund through the Central Bank at very low interest rates for disadvantaged tsunami-affected people.

The UNDP has also constructed a number of houses for the tsunami-affected families in north, south and the eastern province.

‘We have a project to rehabilitate the affected fishing sector and make better infrastructure to develop livelihood of the affected masses.

‘We provide access to capital through low interest rates. We provided it as a grant through the Central bank and other commercial banks to provide loans for the tsunami affected entrepreneurs, he said.

- Asian Tribune -

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