Haoliang Xu, the visiting United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Chair, United Nations Development Group Asia-Pacific and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific conducted a field visit to the North as part of his visit to Sri Lanka, the UN Office in Colombo said.
In the North, Xu travelled to Mullaitivu to assess the support extended by UNDP to the community in the District. In Mullaitivu, Xu handed over a rice mill to the Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) Panankamam, a producer organization supported by UNDP Sri Lanka under the Norway and New Zealand funded Northern Livelihood Development Project I.
Through this rice mill, the MPCS will be able to increase the production capacity to 30-40 MT per month. He then met with the members and the Board of Directors of Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Panankamam to explore other opportunities and understand the results that have been achieved thus far in this District.
Earlier, Xu also visited the Community Forestry Project (CFP) Site in Mihintale, Anuradhapura, a UNDP Supported project funded by the Government of Australia, initiated to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in the dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka.
By the end of 2015, this project which operates in 184 sites, is expected to increase the quality of 23,000 h.a of forests through the community forestry approach. Further, it will improve livelihood options available for 10,000 households and build capacity of 90,000 people to engage in sustainable community forestry management activities.