Sept 05, Mullaitivu: The United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison and Mission Director of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Sherry Carlin opened the newly renovated Mullaitivu public market on September 5, which is expected to enhance livelihood opportunities and bring local communities together.
The market, renovated at a cost of US$ 416,000 (approximately Rs. 54 million) after being damaged by the conflict and the December 2004 tsunami, will not only provide easy access to goods and increase incomes, but will also foster social integration among multi- ethnic communities resettling in the area, the Embassy said in a release.
"The fact that many different local community groups worked together to build this market is a powerful demonstration of collaboration and partnership. As this community continues to recover, these types of endeavors are fundamental to building a harmonious and integrated society," Ambassador Sison said at the opening.
Ambassador Sison and USAID Mission Director Carlin also visited a Mullaitivu community park, which was created at a cost of approximately US$ 86,000 (around Rs. 11.5 million) in close partnership with local government officials and community members.
They also stopped to visit the nearby Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department, which received a training and education grant of US$ 27,000 (approximately Rs. 3.6 million) to help support and stabilize the fishing community.
These projects were all supported under the USAID - Reintegration and Stabilization in the East and North (RISEN) program. Since 2009, the program has implemented over 270 initiatives in the North and the East at a total value of US$ 14 million, supporting local communities to recover and reintegrate after natural and man-made disasters. The programs have supported health, education and economic and community development initiatives.