SL and UNDP collaborate on climate change project

The Economic Development Ministry signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on June 25 to support the Divi Neguma Livelihood Development Programme to withstand climate related shocks.

The agreement was signed between Ministry Secretary, Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka and UNDP Country Director, Sri Lanka Razina Bilgrami to implement a four year project worth Rs. 410 million. It will strengthen the existing government investments in rural livelihood development. The project titled, "Strengthening the Resilience of Post Conflict Recovery and Development to Climate Change Risks in Sri Lanka,' will focus on building models of climate change adaptation in three districts- Puttlam, Kurunegala and Ratnapura.

The Government currently implements two large-scale rural development programmes through the Economic Development Ministry. The Divi Neguma delivers at household level, aiming to improve agriculture production and rural industry. The Gama Neguma (village development programme) focuses on rural infrastructure such as roads, bridges, culverts, buildings, and water supply and irrigation systems. The programme is active in all 14,023 Grama Niladhari (Village Administrative) units in 25 districts of the country.

Climate change threatens the sustainability of both these programmes. Already the impact of climate-related weather anomalies are manifest in reduced agriculture productivity, in crop losses, in flood and landslide related damage to infrastructure and in increased uncertainty for farm-based livelihoods.

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