‘Flagrant discrimination’ in allocation of Health funds alleged

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 December 2003, 23:01 GMT]
The allocation of funds for a program on emergency Obstetrics and Child Health in the war-ravaged areas of the North East, jointly sponsored by the UNICEF and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), flagrantly discriminates against Tamil provinces, several health officials in the North East told TamilNet’s Vanni correspondent Tuesday.

The North East Province (NEP) has 8 districts. The Provincial Director of Health Services (PDHS) is responsible for implementation of all health programs at provincial level. Each District has a Deputy Provincial Director of Health Service (DPDHS).

Each district is further divided into Health Divisions, where a Divisional Director of Health Services (DDHS) is responsible for the preventive and promotional health care activities. There are currently 250 DDHS Divisions in Sri Lanka.

MoH Meeting at UNICEF Hall in Kilininochchi


A meeting called to discuss the Emergency project was held at the UNICEF hall in Kilinochchi Tuesday afternoon, chaired by the North East coordinator of Health, Dr. Jeganathan. The meeting was organized by the Health Ministry in Colombo.

The PDHS of the NEP and DPDHSs of the four Vanni districts of Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Mullaithivu, who participated at the meeting, expressed concern over the discrimination in allocation of funds for the Tamil-dominated North East, and that the Health Ministry’s officers had worked with the UNICEF and JICA without their knowledge in the needs assessment and formulation of plans, sources said.

The UNICEF coordinator in Kilinochchi, the Emergency health program director of the UNICEF, Dr.Abera, and the director of Tamil Eelam Health Services (TEHS), Mr. Arun, were also present in the meeting.

It was revealed at the meeting that the funds had been allocated for some of the districts as follows:





















Moneragala US$ 406 050
Ampara US$ 226 150
Puttalam US$ 121 850
Anuradhapura US$ 60 000
Vavuniya US$ 114 300
Jaffna US$ 168 900
Mannar US$ 109 480
Mullaithivu US$ 56 080
Kilinochchi US$ 62 000
Batticaloa US$ 7 000
Trincomalee US$ 7 000


The Vanni DPDHSs noted that the Health Ministry's plans appear to have been drafted with the areas under Sri Lanka Army control / Sinhala areas in mind and that very severely affected Tamil districts were allocated much less than what was allocated to relatively less-affected Sinhalese areas.

Sources who attended the meeting told TamilNet that Mr. Arun, the TEHS director, expressed grave concern over the “flagrant discrimination in the fund allocation” to Tamil districts.

 

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