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US to fund livelihood programme for vulnerable groups to 'support reconciliation'

The US development agency, USAID has said it will design a livelihood project for vulnerable groups, including “women-headed households, those relocated due to the conflict” and others.

A statement by the US embassy in Colombo said:

In order to support further reconciliation of the Sri Lankan people, the U.S. Embassy, through its development office of USAID, is designing a new livelihoods project that aims to increase household incomes in the dairy, poultry and horticulture sectors. This initiative seeks to reach women-headed households, those relocated due to the conflict, and other vulnerable groups.

The goal is to link household production with existing private sector producers and processors to further economic development. Potential activities include improving household income by increasing the production of fresh milk and dairy products, improving cattle genetics through artificial insemination, facilitating egg and broiler production and diversifying horticulture cultivation.

USAID estimates that up to 5,000 households may benefit under this initiative. Program funding amounts are still being assessed and this program is expected to be on-line before the end of 2013. USAID already supports livelihood programs through its economic growth office and has provided approximately $40,000,000 over the last five years to help re-integrate families in the former conflict zones.

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