UN official calls for more funding for Sri Lanka
Says “unmet” needs among IDPs, country has received US$ 1 b assistance since 2006
By Uditha Jayasinghe
The United Nations (UN) has renewed calls to continue humanitarian funds for post-war Sri Lanka to assist with continued challenges of resettlement and rehabilitation, an official said yesterday.
Despite Sri Lanka’s three decade conflict ending in 2009 there are still “significant” needs among internally displaced communities, UN Humanitarian Resident Coordinator Subinay Nandy said while addressing a ceremony to mark World Humanitarian Day.
“There remain significant unmet humanitarian needs among communities in the north. These range from basic assistance such as clean water, shelter and food security in resettled areas to more sophisticated issues such as sustainable assistance to obtain livelihoods, rights and return to more normal life as part of durable solutions on par with international standards,” he said.
Nandy insisted that diminishing funding is the biggest challenge for humanitarian agencies, which has resulted in downsizing of many UN partners and their operations.
From 2006 Sri Lanka has received more than one billion US dollars in humanitarian assistance but Nandy acknowledged that with increased post-war development the funding is dwindling.
He made an appeal to all donors to continue humanitarian contributions to complete rehabilitation in Sri Lanka but stopped short of mentioning actual numbers.
The UN in 2011 provided 89.9 million US dollars as grants for humanitarian projects, mostly for displaced people in the north and east that bore the brunt of the conflict.
Finance Ministry data shows that the UN provided 69 per cent of total grants received by the country last year.