Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Working with the private sector on tsunami relief

News and Press Release
Originally published
Nairobi, 4 July 2005 -- Marking a new stage in its collaboration with the private sector, UN-HABITAT has signed an agreement with the Australian-based group, Bovis Lend Lease PTY Limited, to help rehabilitate areas of Sri Lanka devastated by last December's tsunami killer wave.

After the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004, several corporations expressed interest in providing assistance within a well-coordinated strategic action plan. Bovis Lend Lease, a leader in the project management and construction services industry with operations in 42 countries around the world, will provide two project managers to join the UN-HABITAT teams in Galle and Hambantota to ensure support and close teamwork with the respective local authorities.

Bovis Lend Lease has been working with UN-HABITAT since the tsunami to find the best way to use its financial strength and project management skills to deliver tangible outcomes in Sri Lanka. Following the initial phase of the agreement, it will consider deploying up to four additional project managers to the area.

UN-HABITAT's intervention in Sri Lanka focuses on reconstructing homes, community infrastructure, settlement planning and disaster preparedness as part of the inter-agency response to promote a smooth transition from humanitarian relief to long-term recovery and rehabilitation. Apart from the emergency interventions, where immediate shelter has been the main focus, the agency intends to ensure the planning and implementation of a broader sustainable recovery in the affected areas, through strengthening local governance, capacity building, and economic recovery.

In April this year, UN-HABITAT signed a similar agreement with the German chemical giant BASF.