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Measures to upgrade resettlement programme

COLOMBO: Recommendations and decisions were taken on key policy issues regarding post-resettlement development at the 10th meeting of the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) recently chaired by Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights. Following were the decisions taken:

It was decided, with the concurrence of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary that I/NGOs will be given access to resettled areas in Batticaloa to carry out livelihood and infrastructure development programmes. The Government of Sri Lanka will facilitate access.

A decision was made to request the UN to provide consultants to work with relevant line ministries in drawing up an overall plan of action on post-resettlement needs which can then be a guiding factor to utilise donor assistance in a coordinated and systematic manner.

The UN and other international representatives at the CCHA welcomed this decision. It also decided to carry out an immediate assessment on the nutrition/health situation of resettled IDPs in Vakarai and assess the need for medical facilities in resettled areas. The CCHA Sub-Committee on Health is to spearhead this effort.

The co-chairs of the CCHA Sub-Committees on IDPs: Resettlement and Welfare, Logistics and Essential Services, Livelihood, Education and Health will be asked to embark on a similar exercise within their respective mandates with immediate effect.

The CCHA, a high-level committee appointed to deal with issues concerning humanitarian assistance - is chaired by Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe.

The CCHA comprise Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary, Secretaries of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development, the Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services; the Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES); a representative from the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP); the Chairman of the Co-Chairs and Ambassador, United States of America, O. Blake; Frederick Lyons, Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN; heads of agencies of the UNHCR and OCHA; ECHO and the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA).

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