Sri Lanka

European Commission's Vice President visits EC funded projects in Galle District

Galle, 12 July 2005. The European Commission's Vice President, Margot Wallström visited Galle district today to evaluate tsunami relief and recovery projects funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO).

The Vice President visited two humanitarian projects funded by the Commission in the Galle District. The first was a WFP food aid project that provides weekly rations to 910,000 tsunami-affected people countrywide. The other project visited was UNICEF's intervention in the health, education and water & sanitation sectors in Galle. The Vice President also had an informal meeting with local NGOs, so as to hear their views on the tsunami recovery project. Ms Wallström was impressed by the work achieved and complimented ECHO's partner organisations and the Sri Lanka government on the progress made.

Since the 2002 ceasefire agreement, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department has provided more than 25 million Euro (approx. 3 billion SLRs.) to help returnees and host communities in the conflict affected districts in Sri Lanka, and the refugees in Tamil Nadu.

Since 26 December 2004, ECHO has, in addition, provided Euro 25 million to assist the people affected by the tsunami disaster. ECHO-supported tsunami projects incorporate some of the following activities and impacts: food deliveries, provision of transitional shelter, food, safe water, household items and basic sanitation, assistance to restore livelihoods in the fishing and agricultural sectors, improved access to health services; psycho-social support and physiotherapeutic rehabilitation. ECHO is currently working with over 20 partners in relation to the tsunami and conflict-affected regions of the country

Margot Wallström will be in Sri Lanka for the rest of the week. In addition to a meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga she will also have discussions with other senior figures and officials.