The European Union launched one of the largest programmes of development support in the country. The European Union will contribute Rs. 5.4 billion in to reduce poverty in the provinces by improving the income of poor people living in rural areas and helping to ensure that they have enough food to eat, even in times of hardship. Speaking […]
Celebrating partnerships – An exhibition on five years of collaboration under the EU-Support to District Development Programme
An exhibition celebrating partnerships built over the course of five years opened in Mannar and Vavuniya on 10 October and 12 October respectively. The event is part of the European Union’s Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP), which helps the poorest communities in Sri Lanka by providing basic infrastructure and services that benefit the local economy. EU-SDDP is jointly implemented by five UN agencies–UNDP , UNICEF, UNOPS, FAO and ILO–and IFC of the World Bank Group.
In Mannar, the exhibition was inaugurated by Ms. Harshani Halagoda of the Delegation of the European Union and Government Agent Mr. Deshapriya while in Vavuniya, the exhibition witnessed the presence of Director Planning Mr. M. Kirubasuthan, among other dignitaries. EU-SDDP covers the Batticaloa, Mannar, Vavuniya, Ampara, Monaragala, Anuradhapura and Puttalam districts.
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS): Improving water quality and reducing risks of flooding
In Mannar, UNOPS has helped to build drainage networks, and culverts and renovated six ponds that assist in controlling floods and in improving ground water conditions. In Vavuniya, UNOPS has also renovated the Vavuniyakulam plant that treats 1,500 m3 of urban runoff and wastewater a day and constructed the sewerage and waste water collection and treatment facility of the Vavuniya General Hospital. In addition to constructing these facilities, UNOPS provided community-wide awareness raising and capacity building of local authority staff on proper operation and maintenance practices.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF): Improving access to quality social services for children, adolescents and women
UNICEF has helped to improve the quality of education, health and nutrition, water and sanitation and child protection services in the Mannar and Vavuniya districts. The work carried out by UNICEF has helped over 9,200 children by improving school facilities, learning achievements and school attendance; provided health facilities, trained healthcare professionals and raised awareness on the importance of better nutrition among mothers; and improved access to water and sanitation facilities and management of water quality. UNICEF has also helped to strengthen capacities of social protection officers, build community-based child protection systems to help at-risk children and increase adolescent & youth participation in both the districts.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group: Boosting small businesses and promoting tourism
Through its partnership with SANASA Development Bank, IFC has helped to disburse loans worth EU 10.8 million in Vavuniya and Mannar to help improve the local economies. Its partnership with Dialog Axiata and Tokyo Cement, has supported the integration of over micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into large supply chains through training and capacity building programmes. In collaboration with several UN agencies, IFC has also provided training to improve business management skills, and helped to improve the speed at which businesses are registered through the Vavuniya District Secretariat. IFC has also supported tourism in Mannar through a variety of tourism development initiatives.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): Supporting agriculture, livestock and fishery economic activities
In Mannar as in Vavuniya, FAO has worked on increasing income by supporting agriculture, livestock and fishery economic activities. More than 10,000 families have been helped in diversification of income sources, employment and entrepreneurship and in the sustainable management of natural resources. Commercial agriculture production including TOMEJC mango cultivation and papaya cultivation, eco-friendly aquaculture practices such as seabass cage culture, dairy milk production and backyard poultry are providing income avenues to rural communities. In addition, the project has ensured that communities have market access, access to infrastructure services and the technology/expertise they need to generate additional income. FAO also provided support to improve the technical and resource capacity of government institutions, and rehabilitated 31 irrigation tanks in both districts.
International Labour Organisation (ILO): Providing vocation training and linking job seekers with potential employers
The ILO Project in the districts of Mannar and Vavuniya have improved the skills of more than 1300 youth with market oriented courses ranging from IT, hospitality, construction to light engineering. The ILO’s support covered 21 vocational training centres in both districts with equipment, direct training cost, training of trainers and enhancement of curriculae. As an integral part of the project a two Public Employment Services (PES) centres have been established and are currently actively working on registration of job seekers, vacancies, job referrals and training referrals. The centres have now begun to play a crucial role in employment services and the job fairs organised by the centres have become key in linking job seekers and potential employers. Through the EU-SDDP, ILO has also worked closely on providing graphic designing and computer application training to persons with disabilities.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Strengthening Livelihoods and Enhancing Capacities of Local Governance Institutions.
UNDP’s income generating activities and the provision of productive infrastructure have strengthened the livelihood resilience and improved living standards for individuals, local producer groups and organisations in Mannar and Vavuniya districts; and has strengthened links between micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The project continues to strengthen the capacities of local-level government institutions and the quality of the services they provide to the public; and in collaboration with government institutions, have developed comprehensive ‘District Development Plans’. UNDP’s interventions through the EU-SDDP have directly reached over 19,000 individuals through its livelihood support in Mannar District while in Vavuniya District, over 17,000 individuals have directly benefitted from UNDP’s livelihood interventions.
Mr. Harshani Halagoda of the EU with Director Planning Mr. M. Kirubasuthan in Vavuniya.