US announces additional assistance for IDPs

US announces additional assistance for IDPs

June 18, 2010   01:35 pm

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Kelly Clements, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State is in Sri Lanka from June 17-19 to highlight the U.S. Government’s continued support for IDPs and returnees, states the US Embassy in Colombo.

 

While in Sri Lankashe will visit Jaffnaand travel to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu to discuss returnees’ needs and their hopes for the future.

 

The US Government will contribute an additional $2.25 million to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) as they return to their homes and villages in northern Sri Lanka.

 

 

The money will enable approximately 9,000 families to receive the shelter cash grant provided to returning families by the Sri Lankan office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

 

 

The shelter cash grant of Rs. 25,000 ($220) is a modest but integral part of returnees’ return packages. Many returnees have used the grant money to purchase bicycles, which allow them to access services, transport goods, and re-establish social ties. Some families have used the money to clear land for agriculture or to start up small businesses.

 

UNHCR, with the assistance of the United States government, has provided over 50,400 families with the shelter cash grant since the programme began in October 2009, but funding constraints have threatened to suspend continuation of the programme. This additional funding from the United States will help prolong it.

 

 

With the addition of this $2.25 million contribution, the U.S. Government will have provided more than $33 million in humanitarian assistance to Sri Lankasince October

2009. This includes more than 24.7 million from the U.S. Agency for International

Development (USAID) to provide basic food rations and meet basic health, protection, shelter, water and sanitation needs of IDPs and returnees; and $8,7 million from the U.S

Department of State for ongoing assistance in both the remaining IDP camps and areas of return. The U.S Government is pleased to support the broader efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka and its international partners to allow IDPs to return to their homes in safety and dignity.

 

 

Kelly Clements, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration

(PRM) of the U.S. Department of State, will visit Sri Lanka June 17-19 to highlight the

U.S. Government’s continued support for IDPs and returnees. While in Sri Lanka she will visit Jaffnaand travel to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu to discuss returnees’ needs and their hopes for the future.

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