Rehabilitation of North:
International donors to play supplementary role
*Govt’s aim to provide better facilities for
*North and East to be developed as
The Government has told international donors that they should only
play a supplementary role to the agenda’s mooted by local authorities,
when it comes to enacting relief and rehabilitation efforts, targeting
displaced people in the north.
Addressing a UN sponsored donor meeting in Colombo on Monday, which
intends to raise US $ 50 million to supplement the immediate
humanitarian needs of the IDPs, Disaster Management and Human Rights
Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the expected aid would be spent
to sustain the relief action plan which is already in operation.
The Minister who chaired the meeting also stressed, that the
international agencies which wish to contribute to the cause, had to
work in line with Government plans and priorities. While noting that the
Government has taken all possible measures to meet the immediate
humanitarian needs of the displaced, numbering almost 200,000, the
Minister said that the intention of seeking international aid was to
sustain the effort.
According to Ministry sources, he had also told donors and UN
representatives, that the intention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and
the Government was to provide displaced northern residents with
facilities better than ones which they enjoyed before.
He has brought to the notice of the gathering that the Government
intends to develop both North and East as key commercial hubs in the
country during the post conflict era, to provide residents access to
quality livelihood opportunities similar to the ones enjoyed by the rest
of the country.
He appealed to the donor community to consider funding the immediate
humanitarian needs as well as post conflict rehabilitation/development
efforts in the conflict ravaged north.
Sri Lanka’s efforts to garner international support to supplement the
immediate humanitarian needs of the displaced civilian influx has had a
very positive response.
The Japanese Government recently said they would provide a grant of
US $ 04 million to supplement the immediate humanitarian needs of the
In addition Japan has also pledged to ship 6,255 MT of rice and 132
tonnes of canned fish in May.
India too said recently that they would donate Rs. 1 billion for the
cause. In addition, they have also provided 40,000 family kits for the
The French Government also donated a mobile hospital which has
already begun functioning, following in the footsteps of such a unit
from India.Several other countries, INGO and NGOs too have come forward
with various aid packages to support Sri Lanka’s endeavour in helping
According to a Ministry spokesman, the Government expects a positive
reply from the international donors within several days, subsequent to
the latest round of talks which was sponsored by the UN.