The focus of the Economic Engagement Programme is to create economic justice which is the main pillar of reconciliation and restoration of justice. Economic development is identified as one of the key priority areas to uplift the living standards of conflict effected communities in Sri Lanka. The Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learned and Reconciliation (LLRC) and the Final Report of the Consultant Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms also highlighted the importance of livelihood development for conflict affected communities.

    Normal life of the people & infrastructure facilities in the Northern, Eastern Provinces and adjoining areas were severely affected due to the 30-year long conflict. Livelihood and the other Income Generation activities were also disrupted and destroyed.

    In the above circumstances, ONUR has initiated Economic Engagement Programme with multiple objectives of developing and promoting existing and new income generation activities and restoration and improvement of infrastructure related to health, community water, minor irrigation systems and education.

    Following are the activities planned for the coming months to achieve the above objectives.

    • Livelihood support for most vulnerable families in conflict affected areas.
    • Continuation of Rain Water Harvesting Project which is funded by the Indian Government as a grant in the District of Jaffna.
    • Restoration and improvement of infrastructure facilities in conflict affected districts.

    Some of the Highlights of the infrastructure facilities in conflict affected areas


    Irrigation Development

    Irrigation development is also identified as a key sector directly connected to agriculture and livestock segments. Therefore, ONUR has selected with the assistance of Department of Agrarian Development and other relevant institutions to rehabilitate small scale tanks, cannels and other necessary structures which was abended during the last 3 decades or more. With that purpose, ONUR has been allocated Millions of Rupees for the renovation of irrigation systems in the conflict affected areas.


    Community Water Projects

    Drinking water is an indispensable element of human life. There is a gap between the need and availability of drinking water in dry zone area of the country. Newly resettled and existing families living in the affected areas, especially Northern and Eastern Provinces have suffered without for potable water for drinking purposes. The ONUR has taken remedial measures to overcome hardships of the people by providing drinking water to the people through the community water supply schemes.

    As the dry parts of the Northern, Eastern and North Central Provinces fall within the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka where a tropical dry climate prevails, there is major problem due to the scarcity of clean water. In order to address this problem, this severely affects families in the affected areas, ONUR has taken remedial measures providing drinking water to the people through the community water supply schemes.


    Livelihood Development and Agriculture Projects

    The livelihood development and agriculture Projects focuses on enhancing livelihood of the Farmer community in the conflict affected communities, especially the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Livestock-cows, Goats, and Poultry were donated to farming families. Alongside, Agriculture, self-employment opportunities, water motors, sewing machines, concrete block machines, equipment for the day-to-day work and fishing, fruit plans for commercial cultivation, Leasing of crops, microfinance techniques have all contributed to the growth of the community.


    Development of Education Facilities

    A country’s economic development is closely related to the levels of achievement in education, technology and skills. Under this Project ONUR has taken measures to develop infrastructure facilities of the schools in the conflict affected areas, especially in Northern and Eastern Provinces since number of schools still are functioning without basic facilities.

    During the past period, ONUR has spent Millions of Rupees to Development of Education facilities. Developments are building renovations or construction, renovation of teacher quarters, provide toilet facilities and providing teaching equipment to necessary schools.


    Improvement of Health Infrastructure facilities

    This is also identified as a key sector to be improved. The project has been mainly focused for the improvement of rural health centres, maternity clinics, fulfillment of the need for medical equipment and quarters for medical staff in the conflict affected areas, especially Northern and Eastern Provinces. The all projects were implemented in collaboration with the Provincial health authorities and District Secretariats.