May 3, 2010
Three new projects to contribute to effective and sustainable reconstruction of the Northern Province have recently commenced through grant assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The total grant amount is approximately 1,619 million Japanese Yen (approx. 2 billion rupees).
The Project for digital topographic mapping of the Northern Province will assist the Survey Department to update and prepare topographic maps with GIS up to the national standards, using aerial photography. The available maps for the Northern Province are decades old, and could not be updated due to security conditions during the conflict. Aerial photography will facilitate the maps to be prepared to the highest quality and with all key details including topographical features, land use and altitude contours. These detailed maps will enable governmental organizations and other development partners to efficiently plan and design the reconstruction and development activities in the Province.
The project for development planning for the rapid promotion of reconstruction and development in Jaffna District and the project for development planning for the urgent rehabilitation of the resettlement community in Mannar District will be implemented in close collaboration with the Jaffna and Mannar District Secretariats respectively. The Ministry of Economic Development, which takes over the functions of the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development, is the lead counterpart for the projects.
The projects aim to map out effective and sustainable development plans for Jaffna and Mannar Districts with focus on strengthening community-based organizations and engaging local communities in rehabilitation and maintenance of rural infrastructure. Community Action Planning (CAP) methodology will be used to ensure engagement of the stakeholders from the initial stages. Several pilot projects will be carried out to rehabilitate rural infrastructure for revival of livelihoods and socio-economic activities of the resettled people of the two Districts. These pilot projects will cover various key livelihood generation sectors, and will take into account demographic composition and socio-economic characteristics typical to the region. The good practices and lessons learnt from these pilot projects will be incorporated into the development plans. While providing essential rural infrastructure in the interim, the development plans produced as the end output will facilitate JICA as well as other development partners to select candidate projects for assistance.
JICA’s assistance to the reconstruction of the Northern Province also includes on-going projects such as the construction of the Killinochchi-Vavuniya power transmission line, rehabilitation of irrigation tanks (PEACE project) and poverty alleviation micro finance project through ODA loan assistance and improvement of Jaffna teaching hospital and the recently opened new Mannar bridge and causeway through grant assistance. Through these interventions, JICA and the Government of Japan hope to ensure peace dividends are received by the conflict-affected people in Sri Lanka thereby contributing to consolidation of peace.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the executing agency of Japan’s Bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA). JICA, the world biggest bilateral aid agency, works in over 150 countries and regions. In accordance with its vision of “inclusive and Dynamic Development,” JICE supports the resolution of development issues in developing countries. In Sri Lanka, Japan has been providing financial and technical assistance since 1954 and is the biggest donor to the country. On behalf of the people and the Government of Japan, JICA contributes to improve life of people in Sri Lanka.