Sri Lanka, an island in the Indian Ocean, has a population of approximately 22 million. The Sri Lankan government and a militant group had severe tension throughout the 1980s, and these tensions escalated substantially in 2006.
However, the government ultimately gained their control back and following the years of conflict, the government put into place various economic development programs primarily funded by the government of China.
Aside from economic restructuring, the government also resettled 95 percent of civilians that were displaced during the decades of conflict. Through the government’s efforts coupled with humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka, millions of people have seen improvements in living conditions, access to education and healthcare and overall disaster preparedness. Here are three successes of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka.
PINA Organisation has provided humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka since 2008. While the organization has several ongoing projects, one of its main objectives is addressing chronic kidney disease (also known as CKD); many Sri Lankans experience high rates of health complications and death as a result of CKD.
The northern and eastern parts of the country are the most affected by the disease — poverty and lack of access to clean water is extremely prevalent throughout the region. With only 35 percent of the entire population having access to clean water, the remainder of the population resorts to using unfiltered ground water.
The use of unfiltered water has been found to be one of the main causes of CKD. The PINA Organisation has partnered with the Sri Lankan Navy and has successfully completed two water filter systems in different regions of the country. Through reverse osmosis, these water systems filter 10,000 liters per day and provide individuals with access to a clean water source.
The organization is responsible for funding the construction of these systems, while the Sri Lankan Navy is responsible for the construction. In 2018, the organization plans to construct another water filtration system in hopes of further preventing CKD by providing Sri Lankans a filtered water source.
World Vision has one goal: to sustain the well-being of vulnerable children. Through four key sectors, World Vision is able to meet the needs of children through education, economic development, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation. In 2016, World Vision served over 10,000 children through education. It provided literacy improvements throughout schools around the country, trained over 250 classroom facilitators and provided additional support to nearly 100 children with disabilities.
World Vision also provided proper healthcare and nutrition to over 120,000 children by implementing nutrition programs in schools and prevention programs for disease. The organization also provided access to clean drinking water to upwards 7,000 children, 3,600 households and 35 schools and preschools. Through humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka, World Vision has been able to improve the livelihood of thousands of children throughout the country.
The United States
Many humanitarian organizations have provided support; however, the United States has also provided substantial humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka. USAID seeks to improve economic growth and financial stability across the country.
Over the past several years, more than 10,000 employment opportunities have been created, with $14 million leveraged in private sector funds. Through this effort, entrepreneurship can be fostered, and public procurement processes can be strengthened.
The United States also has a concern for vulnerable populations such as war widows, female-headed households, disabled individuals, and resettling families in Sri Lanka. They have provided job skills to more than 50,000 Sri Lankans, in hopes of giving individuals the necessary skills to thrive.
Through the humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka provided by these organizations and the United States, many individuals’ livelihoods has significantly improved. Further assistance is needed to fund projects such as the water filtration system project with PIMA Organisation as well as additional resources to meet the needs of more Sri Lankans that are living in poverty.
– Sarah Jane Fraser