July 07, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is implementing a program to provide livelihood assistance to women who have been widowed due to the armed conflict and the first phase of the programme is currently being implemented in the Northern Province.
The Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs, together with the Divi Neguma Department of the Ministry of Economic Development, is implementing the programme.
According to the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs, the provision of facilities is already in progress in 31 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Northern Province.
Additional Secretary (Development) at the Ministry Ms. Ashoka Alawatta said that these women are in need of a permanent income generating method. She also said that the Ministry has planned to support these women with self-employment opportunities.
"Grants will be provided to purchase equipment or material needed for their businesses," Ms. Alawatta said.
According to Ms. Alawatta, during the first phase, 25 women-headed families from each Divisional Secretariat in the Northern Province will benefit from the programme.
A number of Government and non-governmental organizations are taking part in the initiative. The Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs said that field officers of the Ministry and community based officers were trained in counselling with funding support from the German organization Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
"Divisional 'Children and Women Units' have been established, and Care International supports the units in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu," a Ministry report noted.
Women development officers have also been provided with 22 motorcycles to access remote areas.
The Ministry said these programs are being implemented as per Recommendation 9.87 of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).