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Colombo, Sri Lanka, 20 Jan 14

UN-Habitat and its partners will host a conference on post emergency shelter reconstruction in Sri Lankain March this year. The March 24-25 conference will be held in partnership with the European Union (EU), Australian Aid and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)under the theme: ‘Restoring Communities through Home-Owner-Driven Reconstruction: from Post-Emergency to Development’.

This conference will bring together key national and international stakeholders in the reconstruction, post-emergency and development sectors including donors, implementing partners, policy makers, development practitioners and academics. The discussions will be geared towards practical approaches in addressing the housing needs in post emergency scenarios with a special focus on prevailing needs in Sri Lanka.

The focus areas of the conference are:Home Owner Driven Reconstruction and the People’s Process in practice; Ensuring integration and enabling environment and Beyond Reconstruction – sustainable communities.

The three decades of conflict in Sri Lanka that came to an end in May 2009damaged and destroyed key infrastructure including housing and public buildings such as schools, pre-schools and government offices in many parts of Sri Lanka, and in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country in particular. Estimates indicate that approx. 160,000 houses were damaged or destroyed in the Northern Province alone. During the past four years, in addition to the rehabilitation programmes by the Government of Sri Lanka, a number of agencies undertook to assist families to rebuild their damaged homes and community infrastructure. UN-Habitat was one such pioneering agency providing support to over 9,000 conflict-affected families to reconstruct their houses, with support from the European Union (EU), Government of Australia (Australian Aid) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); andis also one of the Implementing Agencies (IAs) of the Indian Housing Project, that is assisting 16,800 families to reconstruct their homes. Consequently the organisers are now inviting abstracts for paper presentations and posters/exhibits on the above conference themes. The deadline for submission of abstracts is January 25, 2014.

“We encourage submissions of good practice as well as those that address challenges in both technical aspects of reconstruction in post crisis scenarios as well as the underlying issues of participation.” the event organisers say.

For more information please visit the conference web pages.

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