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Colombo, 6 Mar 13
The Japanese government is extending financial contribution amounting to 345 million Japanese Yen (approximately US$ 4 million) through UN-Habitat for the "Project for Rehabilitation of Community Infrastructure and Facilities in the Conflict Affected Areas in Northern Province".

The signing of the Exchange of Notes between Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and Mr. Yoshinobu Fukasawa, of UN-Habitat took place in Colombo on March 6th 2013. Also present were Mr. S.B. Divaratne, Secretary, Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province and Mr. Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary, Ministry of Resettlement.

The main components of the project include: (1) Rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed small community infrastructure including internal access roads, community based water supply facilities, multipurpose community centres, and construction of rainwater harvesting facilities; (2) Improving access to pre-education; (3) Empowering women in leadership roles and decision making; (4) Enhancing capacities within communities and Government partners for improved service delivery, and (5) Improving the environment and promoting disaster and climate resilience among communities. This initiative will benefit close to 100,000 returnees in the most affected villages in Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts in the Northern Province. The project will be implemented by UN-Habitat in partnership with community based organizations during the next two years.

Commenting on the project, Mr. Hobo stated: UN-Habitat's "People's Process" model which mobilises target communities and places them at the centre of development is similar to the "Human Security" concept which is promoted by the Government of Japan. This approach will no doubt create a suitable environment for restoring normalcy in the lives of the people, and also contribute towards rebuilding the Northern areas."

The ambassador disclosed that the government of Japan will continue its proactive support for the recovery in the conflict affected areas, and towards the overall development initiatives of the country in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the international community and NGOs.

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