Apr 16, Colombo: The World Bank funded Community Livelihoods project has provided benefits to 200,000 families in Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern provinces where the 30-year war between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) devastated nearly two-thirds of the population.
The families benefited from the project, designed to provide income generation opportunities for vulnerable people, have seen that their incomes increase by up to 50 percent, a recent World Bank report says.
The World Bank commended the government for its vision for poverty reduction, production and productivity, youth workforce, sustainable environmental conservation, and improvement of health and sanitation.
According to the report, communities have invested a total of US$5.5 million in income generation activities within the village economy on crop agriculture, livestock, fisheries, self-employment and microenterprises.
The project has assisted households in 1,000 villages, and has rehabilitated seven major irrigation schemes to improve cultivation for up to 35,000 households.
The communities have established a total of US$7 million in revolving funds. Under the project 1,568 youth, who received skills development training, are now employed.
More than 50 percent of the beneficiaries are women and more than 30 percent of beneficiaries are youth, the World Bank report says.
In the future the World Bank with additional financing of US$12 million expects to extend the project activities into an additional 135 villages where IDPs will return under Emergency Northern Recovery Project ENREP.
Under the expanded activities, an additional 8,000 hectares of major irrigation lands have been cleared recently and that land will benefit another 9,000 farmers and about 27,000 households will directly benefit from the activities.
Further scaling up of the project will positively improve the living conditions and improve sustainable livelihoods of 100,000 former IDPs, including vulnerable women, disabled, youth and ex-combatants, and victims of trauma, the World Bank says.