COLOMBO –The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday signed a three-year agreement to roll out a set of activities which will improve food security, nutrition and resilience to climate-related and economic shocks in nine disaster-prone districts of Sri Lanka.
Under the US$ 4 million agreement, KOICA will support WFP to design and implement rehabilitation and adaptation activities benefitting 30,000 people, in partnership with the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs; Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs; Mahaweli Development and Environment; and Irrigation and Agriculture. The projects will support 7,500 participants to carry out rehabilitation and adaptation activities such as water harvesting and skills training in areas which will build their resilience to climate change and extreme weather conditions.
Climate change and extreme weather conditions are at the root of repeated natural disasters in Sri Lanka, including floods, landslides and droughts. Already in May of this year, some 500,000 people were affected by the worst floods experienced in Sri Lanka in 25 years following Cyclone Roanu. Many communities are still recovering from the floods while other communities are under severe stress due to the negative effects of delayed rains, which follows a severe drought in 2014 affecting some 750,000 people, mainly women and children.
“Restoring community assets to improve food security and agricultural productivity, and increasing people’s level of shock resistance is a critical investment in a country like Sri Lanka,” said Mr. NguyenDuc Hoang, WFP’s Deputy Country Director, welcoming KOICA’s timely donation of US$ 4 million. “Insufficient and inadequate water sources for agriculture, limited alternative livelihoods, and income generation opportunities are fundamental areas of development which urgently need attention.”
“Although Sri Lanka graduated into the lower middle income status in 2010, regional disparities still exist, markedly, for food security and livelihood opportunities. The KOICA assistance will be focused on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable communities in order to reduce development disparities and achieve equitable future for all Sri Lankans, which is the major objective of the KOICA assistance through this grant to WFP for the next three years,” said Mr Lee, Dong-ku, Country Director of KOICA Office in Sri Lanka.
In order to reach the most vulnerable, the project will target women – particularly women-headed households—as well as youth facing limited access to jobs and livelihood opportunities. The project will employ community-based participatory approaches with support delivered through WFP’s cash transfer schemes. Integrated productive asset creation projects will ultimately help communities become less vulnerable to shocks while overcoming the risks of future climate disasters.
Picture caption: KOICA Country Director Mr. Lee Dong Ku, left, and WFP Deputy Country Director Mr. NguyenDuc Hoang, right, shake hands honoring the partnership.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) was established in 1991 to deliver the task of implementing Korea’s grant aid programs and promoting international cooperation. Its mission is to address global development issues by pursuing global harmony and facilitating the sustainable socio-economic development of our partner countries, aiming to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in developing countries. www.koica.go.kr/english/main.html
For more information please contact:
Sadhana Mohan, WFP/Colombo, Tel: +94 (0) 112 555520 (ext) 2450, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rajeeka Ranathunga, KOICA/Sri Lanka, Tel: +94 (0) 112 667969, email@example.com