Mar 06, Colombo: Japan today announced that it will provide 345 million Japanese Yen (approximately US$ 3.7 million) in grant assistance to Sri Lanka for the rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the conflict affected Northern Province.
The financial assistance will be provided through the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) for the "Project for Rehabilitation of Community Infrastructure and Facilities in the Conflict Affected Areas in Northern Province", the Japanese Embassy in Colombo said in a release.
Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo and Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and Pacific Yoshinobu Fukasawa signed the Exchange of Notes at the Ambassador's Residence Wednesday.
Secretary, Ministry of Resettlement Janaka Sugathadasa and Secretary, Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province S.B. Divaratne were also present at the signing.
The project, among other things, will rehabilitate and reconstruct damaged or destroyed small community infrastructure including internal access roads, community based water supply facilities, multipurpose community centers, and construction of rainwater harvesting facilities.
Other components of the project include improving access to pre-education, empowering women in leadership roles and decision making, enhancing capacities within communities and government partners for improved service delivery, and improving the environment and promoting disaster and climate resilience among communities.
The project is expected to benefit approximately 98,120 returnees in the most affected villages in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts in the Northern Province.
The project will be implemented by UN-Habitat in partnership with community based organizations during the next two years.
Commenting on the project, Japanese Ambassador has said that UN-Habitat's approach will create a suitable environment for restoring normalcy in the lives of the people, and also contribute towards rebuilding the Northern areas.
Japan said it will continue its proactive support for the recovery in the conflict affected areas, and towards the overall development initiatives of the country in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the international community and NGOs.