'Poverty is prevalent in northeast'- ADB Director

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 February 2002, 17:38 GMT]
The Asian Development Bank's Country Director Mr.John R.Cooney said Thursday that about seventy percent of the people in the war torn northeast province in Sri Lanka are below poverty line and their average monthly income is less than one thousand rupees. "This is very much high compared to other provinces in the island". Mr.Cooney made this observation Thursday morning at the inaugural event of the Project Management Office of the North East Community Restoration and Development Project (NECORD) in Trincomalee.

Earlier the North East Provincial Governor Major General (retd) Asoka Kanthilal Jayawardene and Mr.John R.Cooney, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank ( ADB ) declared open the Project management Office of the NECORD.

A five year development programme of the NECORD funded by ADB, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), German Technical Co-operation (GTZ ) and the Government of Netherlands is to be implemented in the northeast province from this year 2002 to 2007 at a cost of forty million US Dollars (in Sri Lanka currency 3,600 million rupees). The main aim of the NECORD is to reconstruct the northeast province devastated by the war in all spheres, Mr.T.Lankanesan, Project Director said.

Mr.Cooney further said,"we could attract much capital to the reconstruction of the northeast province when peace is dawn in the island".

At the first meeting of the NECORD's Provincial Project Co-ordinating Committee held Thursday afternoon at the auditorium of the Provincial Ministry of Health, several development and reconstruction project proposals costing about 200 million rupees had been approved for implementation in 2002 in Trincomalee, Mannar, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Ampara districts. Most of the investments would flow into education and health sectors, NECORD sources said.

Minimum of five million rupees would be allocated to provide furniture and to construct permanent buildings to schools which are now functioning in temporary sheds in several districts in the northeast province.

 

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