Japanese govt. responds to drought assistance appeal

Mar 20 (IL) The Government of Japan, responding to an urgent appeal made to the International Community by the Government of Sri Lanka, will provide drought assistance to 2400 families in selected districts affected by the continuing drought conditions. This assistance amounting to US$ 35,681 (approximately Rs. 3.8 million) will be provided through the Sarvodaya Movement, which will distribute packs of dry rations to families worse affected by the drought in the districts of Puttalam, Hambantota, Anuradhapura and Moneragala.

The Japanese assistance will cover 20 villages in 09 divisional secretariat areas. The beneficiaries of this emergency assistance by the Japanese Government have been selected by Sarvodaya in consultation with the respective Divisional Secretaries and the Grama Niladaris using stringent criteria to select the most affected and impoverished families. The Japanese Government is the first donor to respond to the Sri Lanka Government's request and the signing ceremony for the project was held at the Sarvodaya Headquarters in Moratuwa on March 05.

The Grant Contract was signed between Mr. Akio Suda, the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Executive Director. Mr. S. Millavithanachchi, Director, Ministry of Social Welfare, Representative from Ministry of Power and Energy and Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, President of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka, were also present.