Switzerland to reconstruct schools in Matara
[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 March 2005, 15:27 GMT]
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has decided to reconstruct seven schools in the Southern Matara district as a part of its effort to help tsunami victims in the worst-hit Sri Lanka. Swiss Ambassador, Bernardino Regazzoni signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Mr. P.B. Jayasundera in this regard on Thursday.
A statement from the Swiss embassy said that immediately after the tsunami waves hit Sri Lanka, the relief experts of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) delivered and distribute 150 truck loads of emergency utility sets to nearly 3,000 homeless families in the district of Matara while the SDC and the Swiss Red Cross provided 4,000 families with 167 tonnes of food over three weeks in the Eastern Batticaloa district.
"After providing homeless families in the Matara District and Batticaloa with emergency sets and food, SDC has given top priority to reconstruction and repairs. Out of the seven schools SDC has been entrusted with in Matara, two can be rehabilitated, five have to be relocated and built at new sites. The seven schools will serve 5200 students, their cost is estimated at 260 Million Rupees. In addition one tsunami affected school will be reconstructed in the Jaffna district," the statement said.
During the past two years the government of Switzerland has reconstructed 14 schools in the Jaffna peninsula under the post-conflict rehabilitation programme in the north.
"Switzerland has pledged 700 million Rupees for emergency aid and rehabilitation in Sri Lanka. Eight SDC experts are on mission in the country," the statement further said.