The Government of Sri Lanka, together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), today launched a three-year, LKR 1.06 billion (US$ 6 million) project to build resilience of communities against the impact of natural disasters.
“The damages caused by the current dry spell and the preceding years of cycles of floods and droughts, clearly demonstrate the need to build capacities of rural farming families against climate shocks,” said Brenda Barton, WFP Country Director. “We are very grateful for the Government’s leadership and KOICA’s continued investment in resilience building to strengthen lives and livelihoods of Sri Lanka’s children and their families.”
“This year Sri Lanka has been officially recognised as an upper middle income country, marking a new stage of prosperity and development for the country. However, KOICA shares the same concern with the Government of Sri Lanka regarding the small pockets of poverty still present in the Island,” said Kang Youn Hwa, KOICA Country Director in Sri Lanka. “We hope our investment will create a long-lasting impact on vulnerable rural households and communities by helping them create sustainable, climate-smart assets and develop necessary skills.”
The project, “building resilience against recurrent natural shocks through diversification of livelihoods for vulnerable communities”, consists of key activities such as building household water harvesting and storage facilities, rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and skills development for youth in agriculture. Some 21,600 people in Moneragala, Matale, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Batticaloa districts will take part.
This project builds on an existing partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka, KOICA and WFP, which has provided resilience building and livelihood support to communities in 13 districts over the past two years. Results include farmers profiting from two cultivation seasons (both the Maha and Yala), the creation of critical water sources to mitigate drought conditions, utilisation of increased cultivation area and higher household incomes, as well as the needed training for youth on skills development in agriculture, intensification of agriculture livelihoods, diversified income generation activities, and value chain opportunities.
Ranked second among the 176 countries most affected by extreme weather events, according to the latest Global Climate Risk Index, Sri Lanka is particularly prone to natural disasters such as droughts, floods and landslides.