Located off the southeastern tip of India, Sri Lanka is roughly the size of West Virginia with a population of over 20 million. The United States has worked with Sri Lanka since 1956 to help all communities across the country improve their living conditions and reduce the impacts of natural and man-made disasters.
Years of war and a tsunami left the country in crisis. The war displaced over 300,000 people from their homes during the final phases alone, in addition to disabling many, damaging infrastructure and paralyzing the economy. Five years after the end of the war, post-war issues related to gender-based violence, child abuse, youth, war widows and female heads of households still pose a threat to the social fabric of the country. As such, USAID continues to support a variety of social services that address these issues.
Civil society plays a vital role in identifying and advocating for citizen needs in Sri Lanka — factors essential for long-term peace and development in the country. USAID initiatives are helping to build a robust civil society that can engage with local communities.
Sri Lanka achieved middle-income status in 2010 and a gross domestic product growth rate of over 7 percent. However, the country’s growth is not evenly distributed among the island’s nine provinces, resulting in regional inequalities. USAID works in these economically lagging regions to spark greater economic growth.
• USAID partnerships with the private sector have created sources of income for over 30,000 people
• USAID interventions have helped reunite 5,000 children with their families
• Since September 2013, nearly 4,000 people have received legal assistance — including assistance for gender-based violence — through USAID support
Last updated: February 20, 2015