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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2039

UNDP and Suntel collaborate to build livelihoods for tsunami affected

Sunil C.Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 10 May, (Asiantribune.com):The United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] in Sri Lanka will sign a cost–share agreement with Suntel, a private telecommunications company.

This is the first entirely local private sector partnership for tsunami-recovery agreed to by UNDP Sri Lanka. UNDP continues to seek and encourage more private sector engagement in the development sector in Sri Lanka.

The initial contribution of Eight Hundred and Thirteen Thousand Rupees [Rs 813,000] from the Suntel Relief Trust Fund will be utilized in Noonnawella in the Galle district. The agreement is to be finalized on Wednesday at the UNDP country office by the UNDP Resident Representative, Miguel Bermeo and the Managing Director of Suntel, Jeremy Huxtable.

These funds will be channeled through the Micro-Enterprise Development project (MED) UNDP has already initiated in nine tsunami affected districts to rehabilitate affected livelihoods. The MED 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 project in Noonnawella focuses principally on women members among the tsunami-affected fishing community. UNDP plans to work with 60 women of the fishing community in crafts such as crochet, knitting and embroidery.

They will be assisted to turn out table linen, soft toys and other products. All resource persons will be from the community. The programme will also assist them to establish local and overseas markets for their finished products, especially through linkages to the National Crafts Council and MED project partners.

The UNDP’s Tsunami Recovery Unit plans more projects in association with the private sector. UNDP has entered into a global private sector partnership with the Coca-Cola Co. to help tsunami-affected countries with projects related to water and sanitation.

In Sri Lanka, Coca-cola will fund two water and sanitation projects in Kattankudi and Galle. In another partnership, Ceylinco Insurance Co. Ltd is providing full-insurance for a mobile exhibition that is traveling throughout the island. The possibility of entering into a private sector partnership with Brandix is currently being discussed. If agreed upon, the project will ensure the provision of pipe-borne drinking water to two sites where houses are is being constructed for tsunami-affected people.

- Asian Tribune -

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