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Government of Japan Provides US$ 4.2 Million to Improve the Learning Environment in Sri Lanka’s Mannar District

11 March 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka:The Government of Japan is providing funding of US$ 4,201,541 (Japanese Yen 507,000,000) through the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) for the sustainable resettlement of conflict affected people through community-driven improvement of the learning environment in Mannar District. Over the next 30 months, this project will support fifteen schools to construct and improve infrastructure facilities through a participatory process.

This initiative follows the Japanese funded community infrastructure projects: “Rehabilitation of Community Infrastructure and Facilities in the Conflict Affected Areas in the Northern Province” and “Rehabilitation of Community Infrastructure, Improvement of Livelihoods and Empowerment of Women in the Northern and Eastern Provinces”, implemented by UN-Habitat in the districts of Mannar, Kilinochchi, and Mullaitivu in the Northern Province and Batticaloa in the Eastern Province.

The new project, entitled “Sustainable Resettlement through Community-Driven Improvement of the Learning Environment in Mannar District, Sri Lanka” will address the needs within the learning environment of 15 schools, including construction of primary and secondary school buildings, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities for school children and teachers’ quarters. It will benefit over 10,000 returnees including 5,500 school children.

The signing of the Exchange of Notes between H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and Mr. Srinivasa Popuri, Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, took place at the Ambassador’s Residence on 11th March 2015.

The main outputs of the project include:
• Construction of cost-effective, eco-friendly learning spaces in 15 schools;
• Improvement of WASH facilities in 15 schools;
• Installation of wells and water storage facilities in 15 schools;
• Construction of teachers’ quarters in 07 schools;
• Training of teachers in 15 schools;
• Construction training programmes;
• Training of children, parents, teachers, community members and Government officials on school maintenance and management; and
• Fostering ownership of completed schools and educational facilities.

Commencing on 1st April 2015 and continuing for 30 months, the project will be implemented by UN-Habitat in partnership with community based organizations, Parents and Teachers Associations, and Government officials in the Mannar district.

Commenting on the new project, Ambassador of Japan H.E. Mr. Hobo stated “The Government of Japan is pleased to continue our partnership with UN-Habitat in supporting the recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the conflict affected areas of Sri Lanka. We remain committed to supporting the overall development initiatives of the country in partnership with the Government and people of Sri Lanka.”

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