US to fund Lankan refugees in India

The US government announced today that it will fund NGO activities targeting Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu, India.

The US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration anticipates providing approximately $1.5 million to fund NGO programs supporting Sri Lankan refugees in South Asia.

A US State Department release said that the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration will look at NGOs that address prevention of and/or response to gender-based violence (GBV) among Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu, including trafficking, children at risk of dropping out of school, out-of-school children, women and children’s empowerment, and/or mental health and psychosocial support.

The funding for NGOs will also depend on the response it gives to the needs of refugees without essential documentation who are eligible for Sri Lankan citizenship per the Government of Sri Lanka’s 2009 amendment to the Grant of Citizenship to Stateless Persons Act.

“ Projects are encouraged to include a livelihoods support component. Proposed livelihoods activities should be coordinated with other funded programming. Further, activities should be based upon market assessments and analyses in India and Sri Lanka; and assist refugees to become more self-sufficient. Livelihoods programs should also conduct a risk assessment of proposed activities, including an assessment of labor exploitation, to ensure that activities do not negatively impact the protection needs of the beneficiary population. PRM will consider vocational training and/or livelihoods/business development programs linked to job opportunities; however, stand-alone vocational training not linked to income generating activities will not be considered for funding. PRM remains interested in projects that link beneficiaries who may wish to voluntarily repatriate during the project period to livelihoods services and support in Sri Lanka,” the US State Department release said. (Colombo Gazette)