Thirty years of civil war caused significant hardships for the people and the economy of Sri Lanka. The conflict resulted in hundreds and thousands of internally displaced people.
One year after the end of the conflict, the internally displaced people as well as resident populations in the affected regions of Sri Lanka remain largely exposed to a range of risks due to the absence of basic services, adequate shelter, medical care, and livelihood support.
Returnees are not only displaced but also in transit, marginalized, disabled, poor, and affected by multiple displacements. Many have sought refuge with host families or in temporary camps and centres. They are in tremendous need of not only livelihood assistance, but also empowerment and renewed dignity.
The government has identified two major objectives under its 'Early Recovery Program' to address the needs of the returning population. These include rehabilitation and restoration of all social, economic, and community infra-structure facilities, and assistance to families for livelihood restoration and development.
WorldShare partner NCEASL is working on restoring food reserves, and addressing destruction of farmland, disruption to small businesses and loss of farm animals. Around 90% of the people in the district where NCEASL will institute this project are farmers, with the rest being mostly fishermen.
Animal husbandry also plays a significant role, mainly during the off-season, as cultivation is possible only during the rainy season. At present the major obstacle faced by farmers is lack of capital to purchase seeds and equipment to prepare the land for cultivation. The displaced people do not have the necessary ploughing equipment neither do they have cash to rent the machinery. Also, in order to revive high-value crops, the people need to be assisted with irrigation pumps and pipes.
Prior to the conflict, animal husbandry was a significant part of livelihood for Sri Lankans, and there are requests from the authorities to revive this industry in the villages. Cattle, goat rearing, and small poultry farms are the areas of interest, as well as fisheries.
NCEASL has asked WorldShare to invest in livelihood support for approximately 100 families in three villages in Kilinochchi District. The average support needed for each family is £445. In the past three years, NCEASL has successfully implemented livelihood projects for more than 3,500 families.