Mid-Year Review of the Common Humanitarian Action Plan for Sri Lanka 2010
One year after Sri Lanka’s conflict ended, significant progress has been made on releases and returns from camps for internally displaced people (IDPs). Large-scale efforts are underway to re-establish essential services and livelihoods throughout the former conflict-affected areas in an effort to increase the sustainability of returns. At the same time, assistance needs to continue for the 60,000 IDPs still in camps, as well as for the 68,000 accommodated with host families, most of whom have limited access to assistance and services.
Alongside a rapidly evolving humanitarian context, the political landscape in Sri Lanka also witnessed significant developments during the first part of 2010. The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) party won the Presidential and General elections in January and April respectively, after which changes to Ministry portfolios and new ministerial appointments were made. The Government has declared development a priority, including that of the Northern Province. The Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province retains the main responsibilities for coordination of humanitarian/return assistance for returnees.
The second half of 2010 will be critical in moving from urgent immediate needs to self-reliance and community reconciliation. Continued assistance will be required in support of the Government objective to bring the remaining displaced back to their homes in safety and dignity. This will entail priority funding for mine action and activities to address the basic needs of returned communities, particularly adequate shelter, food, water and sanitation. In addition, emphasis on basic livelihood assistance, particularly for agriculture and fisheries to reduce food aid dependence, will also be a priority, aiming to accelerate stabilization and normalcy in return areas. During this period, the need to maintain focus on the residual caseload of an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 IDPs remaining in camps will be equally important, due to existing vulnerabilities but also to ensure that returns are managed in a systematic, safe and sustainable manner.
After a review of projects, the total funding requirement for 2010 has been reduced to US$ 287,799,870 from the previous estimate of $337,688,785. The main reductions are in the areas of shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) with significant adjustments also made to health, nutrition and economic recovery. Reductions are mainly related to implementation capacity, which has been challenged by approval processes required for non-governmental organization (NGO) activities, safety issues associated with ongoing mine/unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination and funding shortfalls. Funding as of June 25 stands at $115,773,793, covering 40% of the revised requirements.