Sri Lanka is considered a middle income country with comparatively high social indicators. However, important disparities exist between the east and the north and the rest of the country. This is largely due to almost three decades of internal conflict.
In mid-2006 military offensives initiated in the Eastern Province displaced more than 170,000 people who previously lived in areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). 44,000 families were displaced from Batticaloa, and a further 7,500 families from Trincomalee.
The displaced persons were temporarily settled into camps and welfare centres or stayed with host families. By the third quarter of 2007 the entire Eastern Province was brought under the full control of the Government and a resettlement process was initiated in Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts to allow internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their villages. Up to September 2008, nearly 140,000 IDPs had been resettled in their places of origin in the districts of Batticaloa and Trincomalee and plans are underway to resettle the remaining IDPs in their villages of origin.
Returnees and host communities live in an enhanced protective environment and participate in ensuring safe drinking water and improved sanitation, in selected geographic areas within the districts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa. Malteser International will focus its integrated interventions in three Divisional Secretary (DS) divisions in Batticaloa district and two DS divisions in Trincomalee district, which have suffered significant devastation from the conflict. The relief service will thus provide an integrated response to the reintegration needs in terms of water and sanitation for about 23,000 families and 69,000 children. To ensure that all interventions are community driven, Malteser International has proven skills in community-based approaches and community mobilisation as well as many years of experience in the selected areas.
The reconstruction process involves full participation and ownership of the community, including families and children, schools and other institutions present in the community. By involving the community right from the beginning of the planning stage, the reconstruction will be based on real needs, and the accompanying sense of ownership will contribute to the maintenance of the facilities.
|Duration:||since December 2009|
|Financing:||UNICEF, Malteser International, private donations|