IOM to boost rural development in Sri Lanka

Monday, 4 March 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has teamed up with the Bank of Ceylon to boost rural development in the areas that were worst-affected by Sri Lanka’s civil war.

IOM has teamed up with the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) to assist vulnerable communities in northern Sri Lanka by providing financial literacy trainings at which people can learn how to access banking services. The process has the full support of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

The program will start in areas that were worst-affected by Sri Lanka’s civil war – Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi, Vavuniya and Batticaloa districts – and will then be rolled out nationwide.

IOM Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka Richard Danziger is upbeat on the role private/public sector partners can play in reintegration: “Involvement of the private sector and banks is essential to the economic revitalisation in the north and east. Partners like BOC are looking for new markets and they also wish to contribute to the reintegration process of conflict-affected communities,” he says.

“IOM offers them the benefit of our knowledge and experience of working with these communities, while our private sector partners provided much-needed additional assistance to our beneficiaries, be they former internally displaced, overseas migrants or ex-LTTE cadres,” he adds.

IOM already partners with corporations including Prima Group (agriculture and food production), MAS Active (apparel), Cargills Ceylon and Sanasa Development Bank. Around the world, IOM has worked with a number of different private sector partners including Chevron, Dow Chemical, Carrefour and Starbucks.