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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2398

Launch of a livelihood program for the tsunami victims

Sunil C. Perera, reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 13 May (Asiantribune.com): A less number of government and Non-Government agencies who are interest in the tsunami rehabilitation and livelihood development process have agreed to provide their maximum support to the Divisional Secretaries of the tsunami- affected areas to implement a number of self employment projects including entrepreneurship development.

These donors have pledged their support after the launching of the divisional livelihood plan [DLDP] Habaraduwa at a simple ceremony held on Thursday.

The Reconstruction and Development Agency [RADA], ILO, state agencies NGOs and other donors have prepared the first DLDP project under the supervision of the Divisional Secretaries to improve livelihood development activities at divisional secretariat level.

Thirty-five more DLDPs are also to be launched in the other affected districts soon to restore livelihoods and expedite development among the Tsunami affected communities.

The plan titled, 'Sustainable Livelihood Development for Habaraduwa Division' was presented by the Divisional Secretary of Habaraduwa, Mr. Lal Samarasekara.The DLDP, which was finalized after assessing the needs for the Tsunami affected villagers of Habaraduwa, is likely to make significant impact on the long term development of this area once implemented, RADA Officials said.

After the unveiling of the Habaraduwa DLDP plan, some key players invited for the launch have expressed their ideas and agreed to provide training facilities for the displaced tsunami victims and allocation of funds for the proposed projects.

Presenting the plan Habaraduwa Divisional Secretary Lal Samarasekara said his plan needs over Rupees 800 million to implement its projects. The livelihood plan includes social protection, community infrastructure and the economic development proposals.

Speaking to the media he said around 89 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises in the Habaraduwa district were affected due to the Boxing Day disaster and over 2500 people lost their employments due to the tsunami.

However the state and the NGOs could build a number of houses and provide assistance to rebuild affected businesses he pointed out.

The livelihood plan gave wider information on the tsunami rehabilitation works in the Habaraduwa secretariat division which has 107 square kilometers land area and said a half of the area of the divisional secretariat division was completely or partly damaged and around 3400 families were displaced.

'”We do not have common infrastructure to cater the affected entrepreneurs,” he said.

Speaking to the media, some donors and the NGO representatives said they wish to assist the government, if it is interested in obtaining support from the INGOs. They also commended the Habaraduwa livelihood development plan and said the plan has a number of shortcomings.

However RADA officials said that they received a wide feedback from the INGOs and NGOs to start the livelihood plan.

”The National Savings bank has agreed to allocate 25 million rupees for our project,” he said.

- Asian Tribune -

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