20 March 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), in partnership with the European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka, the Government of Australia and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will hold a conference on post emergency shelter reconstruction in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 24-25 March, 2014. The conference, entitled ‘Restoring Communities through Homeowner Driven Reconstruction: from Post-Emergency to Development’, is funded by the European Union, the Government of Australia and SDC.
The two day conference will provide a platform to share good practices and lessons learned in the restoration of communities affected by disasters and conflict in national, regional and global contexts.
The forum will bring together key national and international stakeholders in the reconstruction, post- emergency and development sectors including donors, implementing partners, policy makers, development practitioners, academics and community members.
Case studies from a number of countries and regions including Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Thailand, Latin America and South East Asia will be presented at the conference. Sri Lankan Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and District Administrators responsible for the country’s reconstruction efforts will share their expertise and lessons learned.
The conference will address both technical aspects of reconstruction and the underlying principle of the "People's Process". Focus will be placed on the current wave of reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka following the end of the thirty year conflict in 2009. The discussions will be geared towards identifying practical approaches in addressing the prevailing housing needs in post-crisis scenarios. The main conference themes are: “Home Owner Driven Reconstruction and the People’s Process in Practice”, “Ensuring Integration and Enabling Environments” and “Beyond Reconstruction - Sustainable Communities”.
The inaugural ceremony of the conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. on Monday 24th March 2014 at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo. Mr. S.B Divaratne, Secretary to the Presidential Task Force on Resettlement, Development and Security of the Northern Province, H.E. David Daly, the Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, H.E. Robyn Mudie, the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and H.E. Thomas Litscher, the Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka will address the gathering at the inaugural session.
Mr Tim McNair, Chief Technical Advisor of UN-Habitat in Sri Lanka stated that the organisers are looking forward to two insightful days of discussion and debate by experts in the field of post-disaster reconstruction. “We are confident that the deliberations of the conference will contribute towards improving future reconstruction programs in Sri Lanka and other disaster-affected countries and are grateful to the European Union, the Government of Australia and SDC for providing the opportunity to stage this important event.”