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The 30 year old conflict has resulted in large number of internally displaced families, refugee returnees, war affected women headed families, missing person’s families and rehabilitated ex-combatants who have been identified as highly vulnerable population in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The proportion of population below the poverty line is said to be 6.9% whereas the conflict affected regions or district have very high incidence of poverty. For Example, in Mullaitivu poverty was reported as 28.8% in 2016/2017. Therefore, there is an economic disparity which needs to be addressed on an urgent basis. The Government of Sri Lanka has given very high priority for reducing disparities and to address poverty and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this context, the reconciliation focused economic empowerment project aims to target the highly vulnerable population and provide them livelihood and income generation interventions to uplift their social and economic conditions.

In this context, the proposed project aims to support the conflict affected vulnerable families with livelihood support covering agricultural and fisheries development, small enterprise development, micro and small industries development, livestock development and home gardening and plantation development programmes. The project will provide technology, training, working capital support, machineries and facilities, market facilitation, infrastructure access to credit and other related inputs to support sustainable family income of the conflict affected vulnerable families. The production in the Northern and Eastern Provinces will be supplied to the Southern part of the country resulting in a strong business linkage between North and South. These business and economic linkages are expected to benefit the national integration, social cohesion and reconciliation.

A Cabinet Memorandum was submitted by His Excellency the President as Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation and has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers to initiate and implement this programme.

The Economic Empowerment Projects supported 11,596 families with livelihood assistance such as cattle and goat rearing, fish boat and equipment, palmyrah products, small scale industry, agriculture, pottery and other self–employment assistance and other socio- economic infrastructure facilities for the conflict affected vulnerable families of which 14,000 families.

Ministry has taken action in collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to conduct banking clinics in order to facilitate access to credit for beneficiaries.

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