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Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past decade, Sri Lanka has grappled with multiple natural and man-made disasters. Humanitarian crises arising from the 2004 tsunami, conflict and post-conflict displacements, and severe floods in 2011 all required emergency relief and early recovery funds. USAID’s early recovery and long-term development interventions have helped disaster- and conflict-affected communities recuperate from these events. USAID has provided psycho-social support, assisted female-headed households and people with disabilities, reintegrated ex-combatants, protected children and catalyzed the reconciliation process between communities.

Sri Lanka’s 26-year conflict led to the displacement and the ongoing resettlement of some 300,000 citizens. Over the years, USAID’s field-sensitive approach has yielded valuable lessons in achieving post-conflict stability. Beginning in 2003, USAID helped address the needs of conflict-affected populations with a small grants program to promote community reconciliation.

In 2009, USAID initiated a program in the Eastern Province to support community-focused reintegration, targeting at-risk youth and ex-combatants as part of an integrated strategy to stabilize, transform and develop the Province. Following the end of the conflict, USAID extended its transition work to the North supporting recovery and reintegration in both provinces. These efforts have supported the rehabilitation of infrastructure, provision of shelter, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, psychosocial and livelihood support for internally displaced persons and ex-combatants.

Today, USAID continues to respond to the need for transitional assistance in target areas. USAID supports other key initiatives in Sri Lanka such as promoting access to orthotics and prosthetics and providing training for disability caregivers and livelihood opportunities for the disabled.

  • USAID trained over 200 caregivers from children’s homes on best practices, reunified 2,000 children with families and re-directed 2,700 children from institutionalization.
  • USAID provided counseling services as well as reintegration assistance (through livelihood and capacity development activities) to nearly 4,000 ex-combatants during 2012. The program helps reintegrate ex-combatants back into society.
  • USAID improved access to drinking water and sanitation facilities for more than 300 families and widows living in conflict-affected areas.
  • USAID supported activities to strengthen social cohesion, benefitting around 630,000 people.

Last updated: June 30, 2014

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