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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2731

US Aid and Hellenic Aid Join Together to Help Tsunami-Affected Trincomalee

Colombo, 30 December, (Asiantribune.com): The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and HELLENIC AID, the Development Agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Greece, have recently agreed to jointly undertake the reconstruction of the Anuradhapura Junction Market in the tsunami- and conflict-affected eastern seaport of Trincomalee.

The joint $700,000 project will see the former market rebuilt and expanded, while also providing training to vendors and local authorities on market management and maintenance and hygiene promotion. Construction has already begun and should be completed by next spring.

The non-governmental organization People In Need (PIN) has been awarded the grant and will be responsible for construction and training. PIN has been working on relief, rehabilitation and development projects in Trincomalee since 2005. This project will utilize a participatory approach within the local community and local government, which will help to promote peace and stability, while improving local livelihood opportunities.

USAID Director Rebecca Cohn and HELLENIC AID’s George Filippeos seal deal to rebuild market in Trincomalee.USAID Director Rebecca Cohn and HELLENIC AID’s George Filippeos seal deal to rebuild market in Trincomalee.

“The physical reconstruction of the market along with the training component will promote the market as a place for peaceful community interaction,” said USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn. “The re-establishment of the Market Association will improve lines of communication between vendors, residents, the Urban Council and consumers, thereby supporting greater interaction and harmonious economic development – which will benefit everyone.”

“This is an innovative Greek-American reconstruction project in Sri Lanka, where trade infrastructure development contributes directly to local communities’ income generation, local understanding and peaceful cooperation, as were the main functions of the ancient Greek Agora,” said George Filippeos, Minister-Counselor for Development and Head of the HELLENIC AID Special Mission to Colombo of the Embassy of Greece in New Delhi. “Together, we will be providing a space for peaceful transactions that will support the restoration of livelihood opportunities for people in the Trincomalee region.”

HELLENIC AID is currently financing the implementation of several tsunami reconstruction projects in Sri Lanka’s east, including a psychiatric ward in the Valaichchenai Base Hospital, two Gramodaya C-type Health Centers in the Batticaloa area, the extension of classroom buildings in 12 IDP schools in Ampara’s coastal area, and the installation of solar panels in 60 schools and 300 houses in Moneragala.

USAID will be completing its $134.6 million tsunami recovery efforts in Sri Lanka in 2008. This work includes the construction of a new bridge over Arugam Bay; a water supply system in Pottuvil; the upgrading of fishing harbors in Hikkaduwa, Mirissa and Dondra; the construction of 85 children’s playgrounds in tsunami-affected communities; and the construction and repair of schools, libraries and vocational training centers throughout the tsunami-affected zone.

- Asian Tribune -

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