Swedish Red Cross provides $10m to tsunami housing effort

[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 July 2006, 10:44 GMT]
"The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Sri Lanka Red Cross have contributed $US 10 million to Phase 2 of the Government of Sri Lanka’s Home Owner Driven Housing Programme (ODHP) which will help at least 10,000 tsunami affected families to rebuild or repair their homes," said a press release issued by the Red Cross offices in Colombo Thursday. The funds are being allocated from a $25m contribution Swedish Red Cross society has given to the IFRC for the housing program.

Full text of the press release follows:

Colombo, July 13th, 2006 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Sri Lanka Red Cross have contributed $US 10 million to Phase 2 of the Government of Sri Lanka’s Home Owner Driven Housing Programme (ODHP) which will help at least 10,000 tsunami affected families to rebuild or repair their homes.

These funds form the first installment of a $US 25 million pledge made by the IFRC to the ODHP. The fund will be administered by the World Bank and grants will be made by the Government to families in four installments via the country’s commercial banking system.

“By contributing to the Home Owner Driven Housing Programme, the Red Cross can channel support to families quickly and effectively through a tried and tested mechanism set up by the World Bank”, explains Jagath Abeysinghe, President of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society.

“This second phase of the Home Owner Driven Housing Programme has been made possible by the changes in the buffer zone policy and the shift to reliance on the Coastal Conservation Act,” said Peter Harrold, World Bank’s Country Director in Sri Lanka. “Providing assistance to tsunami affected whose needs were not met the first time around is a much valued contribution to the Government’s ongoing tsunami recovery programme in Sri Lanka,” he added.

The Red Cross’s $US25 million pledge forms part of a wider initiative – ‘The Community Recovery and Reconstruction Partnership’ (The Partnership) – a programme that has been set up to accelerate reconstruction. ‘The Partnership’ comprises a unique alliance between the Sri Lanka Red Cross, the IFRC and UN-HABITAT, with technical support provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Under the Partnership, beneficiaries will receive LKR 250,000 or 100,000 (for partially damaged homes) from the ODHP towards the construction or repair of their homes.

The Red Cross will channel an additional ‘top up’ grant of approximately the same amount directly to beneficiarie’s bank accounts. In addition, the Sri Lanka Red Cross and UN-HABITAT will use their countrywide network to deliver a comprehensive package of support to families and communities in a people-centred approach to the rebuilding process.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is already a significant contributor to the tsunami recovery effort. Over 8000 houses are scheduled to be built on 75 sites in 12 affected districts across the island. The Sri Lanka Red Cross together with the IFRC and fifteen national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are engaged in this effort. Construction of over 3,380 homes is currently underway and over 540 have been completed. Ends

 

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