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Sri Lanka


The natural catastrophe of the Tsunami in December 2004 in Sri Lanka was overlaid by the since 25 years continuous civil war. In this war between the army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which officially ended in May 2009, thousand civilians died and over 300’000 people had to flee from their villages. Not only did people in the north of the country they lose numerous members of family and their goods through the violent conflicts, but also the possibility of earning and therefore their livelihood.


Since the end of the war, refugees are slowly returning from the camps to their home villages and are confronted with various problems: destroyed houses, damaged infrastructure, missing healthcare, loss of legal documents to insure their land rights, mines as well as injuries and diseases. The flood catastrophe in February 2011 stroke those people very badly as the heavy rain ruined the recently started agricultural activities in the region and with that, the livelihood of the farmers was destroyed.


Solidar Suisse first took action in Sri Lanka in 2004. Since 2009, the main focus of our development-oriented emergency relief lies in the collaboration with marginalised groups such as internal displaced people, repatriates, basis organisations and self-aid-groups, women’s groups and associations of farmers. With financial support from Swiss Solidarity, the European Commission (ECHO), SDC and private donors, Solidar Suisse supports these people through income-generating measures as well as the reconstruction of houses and sanitary facilitations. In doing so, we work with local basis organisations to achieve the superior goal of boosting the self-help of the affected people. The local partners collaborate with the planning and implementation of the programmes and are supported through training measures.


The rehabilitation in the North and East of Sri Lanka will take some more time. To ensure this process being sustainable and peaceful, the affected people need support.


Helmut Rählmann is responsible for the Solidar-programme in Sri Lanka.




For more information about our projects in Sri Lanka, please check the website of our coordination office in Colombo: