Sri Lanka is at a threshold of economic growth and development. Slogans such as ‘winning the economic war’ and making the nation the wonder of Asia’ have been frequently used to describe the priority that economic development has received in recent years. Indeed, the economy rebounded, tourist arrivals leaped and Sri Lanka is now categorized as a middle income status country by the International Monetary Fund. Challenges, however, remain. Under nutrition, poverty, maternal health issues, lack of access to safe water and sanitation, re-emerging communicable diseases (such as dengue and HIV/AIDS) and non-communicable diseases, which account for 65 per cent of deaths (the single biggest cause of death) in Sri Lanka according to the World Health Organisation (WHO NCD profiles 2011). Wasting and stunting in children under five is at 15 per cent and 22 per cent respectively (DHS 2006/7), which, according to WHO standards place Sri Lanka as a ‘high’ prevalence country in relation to malnutrition. A total of 22 per cent of newborns are reported with low birth weight (LBW). Alarmingly, the data analysis shows an increase in under-five mortality rates from the 2000 baselines that raises questions about the assumption that the trajectory of the 1990's has setback Sri Lanka in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Maternal under nutrition also remains high (at 23 per cent) and when the indicators are disaggregated by geographical regions, it emerges that certain vulnerable groups are not likely to meet the maternal and child health (MCH) and nutrition targets of the MDGs. Heavy flooding in January and February 2011 has seriously affected the already disadvantaged communities in the eastern, northern and central provinces. There is a huge task for reconstruction and recovery in conflict-affected areas.
SLRCS, a community-based organization with a country-wide network of branches and volunteers, prioritizes to:
· do more and better provide for vulnerable people.
· strengthen community safety and resilience to the changing patterns of risks posed by climate change, extreme weather events and diseases as well as wider socio-economic changes.
· refine processes and system, and diversify skill-set of its staff and volunteer to provide more effective and efficient response and recovery support to disaster affected population.
· strengthen SLRCS grassroots structures, empower youth and reinforce basic values and attitudes towards volunteerism.
· improve image of SLRCS and its planning, reporting, monitoring and evaluation capacities and practice.
· re-position the organization as stronger and with better integrity as it emerges out of the re-engineering process.
The IFRC’s 2011 programme was designed to support SLRCS in addressing its prioritized areas in which include building on its past achievements and challenging lessons learned from the pre-, during and post-tsunami realities. It highlights the unmet needs of so many people who continue to live in poverty, are vulnerable to extreme weather events and preventable diseases, have no place to call their home and are struggling to earn their daily bread.
The total budget for 2011 is CHF 2,643,098. Appeal coverage is 133 per cent. Expenditure during the reporting period is 68.8 per cent of the 2011 budget.
No. of people we have reached
SLRCS estimates it has reached some: · 7,000 people through its organizational development initiatives (2,400 people through community services, 4,000 people through youth development initiatives, and close to 400 staff at national headquarters and in branches who attended IFRC-supported training events and workshops)
· 204 families (about 1,000 people) through community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) work in the two targeted villages of the Batticaloa district, and another 158,000 people in Kandy.
· 35,000 people (7,000 families) living in 20 disaster risk prone communities through community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) initiatives.
· 10,000 children through school safety work.
The plan for 2012 is to reach 44,000 people living in 25 high-risk prone communities. Our partners
There are currently four partner national societies – Canadian, German, Japanese and Norwegian Red Cross – working in the country. Two partner national societies are planning to exit by the end of 2011.
Programmes are coordinated with the ministries and sub-national authorities of the Government of Sri Lanka, as well as the United Nations (UN) and other national and international organisations.