Reconstruction work on the Vakarai Maha Vidyalayam complex started early this month in the Batticaloa District under the European Commission’s Tsunami assistance programme, which is an EUR 147 million (approximately Rs. 24.2 billion) aid package that covers affected districts in the South, East and the North, the European Commission (EC)said in a statement issued to the press.
The reconstruction of Vakarai Maha Vidyalayam, which was completely destroyed by the 2004 Tsunami, will include permanent buildings for the students currently studying in temporary buildings with considerable difficulties. The school complex includes a primary and secondary school, which will benefit over 800 students from grades 1 to 13, who will now be able to continue their education under improved conditions.
"We are confidant that our implementing agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and their selected contractor will accomplish the task of completing reconstruction of this school by 2009," the statement said.
The European Union is making an additional allocation of EUR 60 million (approximately Rs 10 billion) in 2008, for housing and socio-economic community infrastructure to support livelihoods in the North and East.
"Our intention is to repeat the successful model and modalities of rehabilitation developed under the EU-AMPARA partnership."
The EC will make further financial resources available in 2009 and 2010. And as EU-AMPARA Partnership funding will continue to be implemented up to 2010, the seven other districts in the North and East will be eligible under this additional funding.
The EC said it would continue to build a closer relationship and friendship with all communities in the North and East through these initiatives.