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* Japan grants140 million rupees to assist people in Northern Sri Lanka
Fri, Nov 19, 2010, 12:18 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 18, Colombo: The government of Japan has extended a total of 140 million rupees under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) for three projects to assist the people of Sri Lanka's Northern Province.

A press release issued by the Japanese Embassy in Colombo said a sum of US$ 876,121 (approximately Rs. 98 million) will be granted for two reconstruction and a demining projects in the North through Sarvodaya, Sewalanka Foundation, and The HALO Trust to meet the emergency needs of the area and to promote peace and development.

Out of this approximately US$ 143,004 (Rs. 16 million) will be given to a project implemented by the Sarvodaya for 'Ensuring the Long Term Food Security of Resettled Communities in the Northern Province'.

The money is allocated to rehabilitate 60 agricultural wells and 3 irrigation channels, and to construct 30 agricultural wells in Oddusudan, Maritimepattu DS divisions in Mullaitivu District and Kandavalai DS division in Kilinochchi District. More than 2,500 families will be benefitted from the project by enhancing water access, improving farming, and empowering self sustainability, the statement said.

A project implemented by the Sewalanka Foundation for 'Supporting the Initial Socio-Economic Needs of Resettled Communities in the Northern Province,' will receive US$ 203,117 (approximately Rs. 23 million). The funds will be allocated for providing agricultural and fishery equipments, constructing and rehabilitating five community centers and 55 wells in Maritimepattu and Oddusudan in Mullaitivu and Vavuniya North. More than 2,500 families are to be benefitted from the money.

The demining group HALO Trust's project to demine and to facilitate a safety environment in Jaffna and Kilinochchi Districts will get funds of US$ 530,000 (approximately Rs. 59 million). The project will contribute to resettlement of more than 20,000 people.

Japan has been continuously assisting demining projects in Sri Lanka since 2003 to accelerate early resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and improve lives of resettled communities and has provided a total amount of US$ 21 million (approximately Rs. 2,350 million) to-date, the press statement said.

Ambassador of Japan Kunio Takahashi and the representatives of these organizations signed the Grant Contracts on November 17, 2010 at the Embassy of Japan in Colombo.

In addition Japan has extended grant aid last week for another demining project in the North implemented by DASH, a local demining organization. Under this project a sum of US$ 373,200 (approximately Rs. 42 million) is allocated to demine and to facilitate safety environment for more than 5,000 people in Kilinochchi district.

It will employ 60 deminers from the local community and the project will also simultaneously contribute to providing employment opportunities to the residents in the area.

The statement noted that the Japanese government has also extended projects in the conflict affected areas, such as improvement of central facilities of Jaffna Teaching Hospital, construction of Vavuniya-Kilinochchi Transmission Line, urgent rehabilitation of resettlement community in Jaffna and Mannar districts.

Japan hopes that these assistances would directly meet the needs of the people at the grass-roots level, promote the living condition of the people, and then contribute to sustainable peace and development in Sri Lanka, the statement said.

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