UN top official to visit Lanka to move recovery effort forward

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 February 2005, 10:02 GMT]
UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Hafiz Pasha, begins his Asian trip in Sri Lanka on Thursday, where he will travel to tsunami-devastated coastal areas, and meet with senior government officials, a UN statement said on Thursday. "Seven weeks after the tsunami, it is now necessary to take stock of the humanitarian response and more clearly define the transitional stage into recovery and long-term reconstruction," Mr. Pasha has been quoted as saying.

Following is the full text of the statement:

A top United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) official will make a two-week sweep through Asian countries hardest hit by the tsunami to examine ways and means for moving forward with the recovery effort. UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Hafiz Pasha, begins his Asian trip in Sri Lanka on Thursday, where he will travel to tsunami-devastated coastal areas, and meet with senior government officials. His regional tour, which will span Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Indonesia and Thailand, includes consultations with donor partners in the UK and Japan.

"Seven weeks after the tsunami, it is now necessary to take stock of the humanitarian response and more clearly define the transitional stage into recovery and long-term reconstruction," says Mr. Pasha. "Through it all, the needs, hopes, and involvement of the communities hardest hit by the tsunami must be at the heart of the work at hand," he says.

The scale of the national disaster is unprecedented in Sri Lanka. Some 30,900 lives were lost, several thousand more are missing and at least 15,000 were injured. Almost a million were displaced from their homes, with 100,000 homes damaged and three-quarters of those completely destroyed. Roughly 276,000 workers in the affected districts lost their jobs and sources of income.

"Of utmost importance to us is helping communities get their lives back on track," says Mr. Pasha. "We want to help restore incomes to families, ranging from provision of boats and nets to fishermen, to cash for work projects. The areas that were hit were already poor. Now the tsunami has struck a major blow to their ability to reduce their poverty. Markets have been disrupted and employment opportunities wiped out."

UNDP is providing resources to support local communities through small-scale cash-for-work initiatives to restore minor infrastructure, such as small access roads, irrigation channels and culverts - all important for kick-starting the recovery process. During his three days in Sri Lanka, Mr. Pasha will visit coastal Ampara where rubble-clearing projects are imminent, including the recycling of debris to rebuild homes. Groups of local women will be mobilized and hired to sort and clear the debris.

Mr. Pasha will also meet with a group of Parliamentarians as part of a new initiative in which parliament has requested assistance from UNDP to establish a Select Committee for Disaster Preparedness. The Committee will oversee issues of disaster prevention and early warning systems.

 

Latest 15 Reports
03.12.19 23:27  
Challenging 2006 EU ban on LTTE, next step of legal activism on principled grounds: Mendis
02.12.19 23:24  
China, Pakistan send top diplomats to meet Gotabaya in Colombo
01.12.19 23:46  
Gotabaya seems to have bought 5 years from India to wage ‘development’ genocide in North-East
30.11.19 23:51  
India strengthens defence ties with Japan
29.11.19 18:45  
New Delhi appeases Colombo as Eelam Tamil leaders fail to demand international mediation
28.11.19 07:59   Photo
Collective message from Tamils on Heroes Day: Rajapaksas can’t kill Tamil Eelam dream
27.11.19 10:46   Photo
University students, Shivaji brave SL restrictions on veneration of Tamil Eelam Heroes in Jaffna
26.11.19 23:28   Photo
Colombo attempts to officially block students from marking Heroes Day at Jaffna University
25.11.19 23:32   Photo
People mobilise in resolute to mark Tamil Eelam Heroes Day amidst Rajapaksas return
24.11.19 19:59  
Demand Tokyo Co-chairs, India to bring international mediation between Tamils and GoSL
23.11.19 22:58   Photo
US, Indian think-tanks call for deepening of Indo-Pacific ties ahead of 2+2 meetings
22.11.19 23:13  
Russian naval vessel visiting Hambantota coincides with return of Gotabaya Rajapaksa
21.11.19 23:41  
Former IFS diplomat advises New Delhi to embrace Rajapaksas trading off rights with interests
20.11.19 23:04  
US ambassador-turned-consultant hints at capitalising on ‘shared interests’ with Gotabaya
19.11.19 22:50   Photo
Indian FM visits Gotabaya to ensure Colombo’s conformity to US-India geopolitics in Indian Ocean
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=14272