House building drive for Sri Lanka

An international effort is underway to help thousands of Sri Lankan families rebuild their homes damaged in the country’s long civil war.

UN-Habitat is extending its partnership with the European Union (EU), Government of Australia (AusAID) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to implement the second phase of the housing recovery project.

The project, "Improving Living Conditions in Returnee Areas of Sri Lanka through Housing", will be implemented between now and mid-2015, will help 4,000 families rebuild their houses damaged in the Sri Lankan civil war.

This phase follows the current housing recovery project implemented by UN-Habitat and SDC with funding by EU, AusAID and SDC, which is supporting over 4,600 families scheduled to be completed by December 2013.

On 5 December 2012, UN-Habitat signed the second phase agreement with the European Union, the major funding partner. The EU contribution of €11.8m will be complemented with funds from AusAID and SDC.

The project runs on a home-owner-driven model, in which owners are given the funds and organise the work with technical help from UN-Habitat and SDC.

EU Ambassador Bernard Savage said: "By 2015, the EU will have financially assisted 20,000 families in North and East Sri Lanka to rebuild their houses, many of whom have endured displacement for over a decade."

The EU’s total contribution to housing will amount to approximately €50m.

"By moving from humanitarian assistance to long-term sustainable development projects, the EU will have significantly helped Sri Lanka achieve its main development targets by the year 2016," Savage said.

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