Livelihood development for Jaffna District under reconciliation initiatives

The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, under the direction of His Excellency the President as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, has initiated  livelihood development programs to support  the conflict-affected community, which covers internally displaced persons, refugee returnees, women headed families, rehabilitated ex-combatants, families of missing persons, and low income families. Under this initiative, Tholakatti Nelli crush production in the Kopay Divisional Secretariat division was supported in order to construct a factory unit with quality standards, including machinery at a cost of Rs. 3.5 million. “This project has been managed by the Christian Mission, and a large number of beneficiaries are benefited,” said Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy.

In Chankanai Divisional Secretariat division, the Anthiran leather production centre was supported under the reconciliation program, with modern machinery and technology to produce leather based products, including shoes and slippers.

Under the Reconciliation Focused Economic Empowerment program, a coconut fibre extraction centre was supported with modern machinery to extract fibre from coconut shell, to use as a substitute for sand to grow plants, and these products are exported to other countries.

In the Marathankeney Divisional Secretariat division, Kudaththenei area food production village has been supported with the modern machinery and common service facilities, including grinders for different products, and packing machinery to market their product to the North and South, establishing the economic and business linkage with North and South. “Total cost of the facilities was Rs. 2.8 million and the facilities were formally handed over to the producers cooperative societies,” said Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy.

In the Nagarkovil area, a multi-purpose building was constructed under Reconciliation Intervention Program at a cost of Rs. 2.3 million and was handed over on 5 March. This Centre is to be used for sewing training, food processing, packaging and other related activities. 30 sewing machines were provided for 15 Women’s Rural Development Societies to conduct diploma classes for women.

The above interventions helped the conflict affected communities in Jaffna to secure employment, improve income and integrate them into the development mainstream.