Brussels: The European Commission Wednesday has decided to grant 10 million Euros (about 14 million US dollars or over Rs. 1.5 billion) to Sri Lanka to provide humanitarian assistance to people who had been displaced by the three-decade long conflict.
Issuing a statement Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, said Europe is following through on its commitment to assist Sri Lanka people who have returned to their place of origin since the return process began in 2009.
But they still require assistance for shelter, as well as the risks posed by land mines contamination, the EC said.
“Although improvements have been made in many areas, urgent needs remain and have to be addressed through adequate access for international aid. The new funding will provide assistance in the areas of shelter, food assistance, water, and sanitation, as well as the financing of de-mining programmes,” Georgieva said.
With this Decision, Particular focus will be placed on reaching the most vulnerable among the returnees, namely female-headed households, the disabled, the elderly and the children, the Commission said.
Since 2007, the Commission has allocated a total of 58 million Euros in humanitarian funding to Sri Lanka, including today’s allocation. Last year, the Commission allocated a total of 13 million Euros to Sri Lanka.
All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Georgieva.
The Commission-funded projects are implemented by non-governmental organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement in respect of international humanitarian principles. ECHO closely ensures that assistance is delivered in a coordinated fashion and closely monitors the use of the Commission’s relief funds.