FAO, Italian cooperation launch redevelopment effort in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka

29 July 2005

In another United Nations-supported tsunami rehabilitation effort, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Italian Cooperation organization have concluded today a workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka, designed to put the mechanisms in place for the development of ravaged coastal fishing communities.

In another United Nations-supported tsunami rehabilitation effort, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Italian Cooperation organization have concluded today a workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka, designed to put the mechanisms in place for the development of ravaged coastal fishing communities.

UN-HABITAT announced on Thursday that it and UN Development Programme had signed an agreement to help local government in Thailand with the rehabilitation planning for the areas hit by the tsunami last December.

FAO said today that the workshop in Sri Lanka, which opened on 27 July, was designed to consolidate the planning tools used for the Italian Cooperation-financed project called “Integrated programme for the rehabilitation of the fisheries sector in the tsunami-affected districts of Hambantota, Ampara and Batticaloa”.

With a total budget of $5.6 million, this two-year project supports tsunami-affected communities through both the rapid distribution of fishing inputs and a longer-term support for the development of sustainable fisheries-based livelihoods in 14 communities in the three districts, FAO said.

It also said that around 5,000 fishers were killed by the tsunami waves in Sri Lanka and tens of thousands of others saw their houses destroyed and their means of earning a living – their boats and nets – washed away. FAO said its objective was to restore and enhance fisheries and agricultural based livelihoods to reduce vulnerability and increase self-reliance.

The workshop, which opened on July 27, included 15 experts from 6 countries. Various agencies were represented including FAO, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, University of Peradeniya, STREAM Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia Pacific (Thailand), National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka, and A.P. Remote Sensing Application Centre (India).

Next, three field teams composed of livelihood analysis experts will spend at least ten days in each of the selected communities. Through this exercise, the project will gain better knowledge on the capacity and strengths of people to take up livelihoods activities.

Based on the outcomes of this consultation, the project will fund activities dealing with a special focus on Livelihood Diversification and Small Enterprise Development (LDED). The project will also fund pilot aquaculture projects for the selected villages.

 

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