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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

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Rs 11m Japanese grant for community development

The Japanese government provided a grant of US $ 101,245 (Rs 11 million) for a community development project in the Jaffna district.

This is a follow-up project of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) development planning project implemented from January 2010 to September 2011 to support the Jaffna district through fisheries and agricultural assistance and development planning.

‘The project for enhancing the community development at resettlement locations in the Jaffna district’ will be implemented by Jaffna Social Action Centre (JSAC), a district based NGO which has been working in the area since 2000.

JSAC Coordinator Nadarajah Sukirtharaj says that the project is especially aimed at motivating displaced people to come back to their homes.

JICA’s Kawamoto says that assistance to the North and East is given after completing social community profiling to identify the needs of the area. He observed that “Jaffna is really developing and people are returning”. He hopes that this grant will assist the returnees and ease some of the difficulties they may face during the transitional period.

“Improving the living environment and livelihood of the people in three selected villages is an important objective.

Three community centres and two wells will be constructed and fishing equipment will be given to selected families. It is estimated that more than 300 families will benefit during the 12 month project.

The funding is granted under the ‘Grant Assistance Grassroots Human Security Project Scheme’ (GGP) which aims to ensure ‘human security’, a concept much wider than mere personal security, encompassing economic as well as food and health security.

Since 1989, 223 such projects have been supported by the GGP scheme, at a cost of around US $ 28.5 million (Rs. 3150 million)

Japan has extended support in the North through various kinds of assistance such as demining, improvement of central facilities of Jaffna Teaching Hospital, construction of Vavuniya-Killinochchi Transmission line and training for frontline officers, in addition to other assistance throughout Sri Lanka.

Japan hopes this assistance would directly meet the needs of the people and improve their living conditions and contribute to sustainable peace and development of Sri Lanka.

Thanking the Japanese government for their generous support, Sukirtharaj says that the project is “very important in the resettlement process because when the basic needs and the livelihood scenario develops, the displaced communities will come back and resettle.

The grant will motivate vulnerable communities to take constructive steps in the income generation process and fulfill the immediate basic needs.”

The grant contract was signed at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Colombo on December 2 between Japanese smbassador Nbuhito Hobo and Nadarajah Sukirtharaj, Coordinator of JSAC.

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