Funds and access problems hinder commencement of major livelihood support programmes for widows

Saturday, 30 October 2010 06:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Colombo (IRIN): Tens of thousands of war widows cannot be reached due to a lack of funds, say officials, despite efforts to help them adjust to life after the conflict in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

There are 89,000 widows in the north and east, Mohamed Hizbullah, the deputy minister for child development and women’s affairs, told IRIN.

“Where do we find money to restore livelihoods? My Ministry does not have the needed funds to do this… Funds are our biggest problem to commence major support programmes for widows.”

He said the government was providing 800 women in the eastern town of Batticaloa with self-employment training. The programme would be expanded to Kilinochchi by the end of the year, he added.

The UN Industrial Development Organisation has put aside US$800,000 to fund microcredit and small business support to widows.