Japan to back Sri Lanka’s rehabilitation efforts

The Government of Japan will continue its proactive support for the recovery in the conflict affected areas in Sri Lanka and towards the overall development initiatives of the country, the Japanese Embassy in Colombo said today .
The Embassy said that Japan is extending financial contribution amounting to 345 million Japanese Yen (approximately US$ 4 million) through the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) for the “Project for Rehabilitation of Community Infrastructure and Facilities in the Conflict Affected Areas in Northern Province”.
The signing of the agreement on the funding took place today between the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, Nobuhito Hobo,  and Yoshinobu Fukasawa, Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary, Ministry of Resettlement and S.B. Divaratne, Secretary, Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province were also present.
The main components of the project include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed small community infrastructure including internal access roads, community based water supply facilities, multipurpose community centres, and construction of rainwater harvesting facilities; improving access to pre-education; empowering women in leadership roles and decision making; enhancing capacities within communities and Government partners for improved service delivery, and improving the environment and promoting disaster and climate resilience among communities.
The initiative will benefit approximately 98,120 returnees in the most affected villages in Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts in the Northern Province. The project will be implemented by UN-Habitat in partnership with community based organizations during the next two years, the Japanese Embassy in Colombo said.
“UN-Habitat’s “People’s Process” model which mobilises target communities and places them at the centre of development is similar to the “Human Security” concept which is promoted by the Government of Japan. This approach will no doubt create a suitable environment for restoring normalcy in the lives of the people, and also contribute towards rebuilding the Northern areas,” the Ambassador of Japan said. (Colombo Gazette)