Sri Lanka

Refugees in Sri LankaDisplaced people fleeing conflict in Sri Lanka undergo screening before being transported to Internally Displaced Peoples sites in government-controlled areas © UNHCR/B. Alaj

RedR opened a Sri Lanka office in 2005, launching its Learning Support and Capacity Building Programme. The programme was established in response to the learning needs of humanitarian agencies working during the reconstruction and recovery phase following the 2004 Asian tsunami.

In 2009, subsequent to the conclusion to the armed conflict in the north and east of the country, the learning needs and priorities of humanitarian agencies changed from longer-term capacity building, to specialist emergency response to help over 500,000 displaced people. 

RedR actively adapted and responded by training 1,532 people in areas such as: project planning and management, emergency preparedness, community mobilisation, community-based disaster risk management and community participation.

RedR made a significant impact on the humanitarian response in Sri Lanka and exceeded its overall targets by average of 169%.

2010 marked the 5th year of successful training and development for relief workers through our RedR programme in Sri Lanka. In partnership with the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) we trained 5,833 humanitarian professionals over five years, through 301 workshops in more than 40 different humanitarian relief and development areas.

Importantly, the RedR programme successfully laid the foundations for RedR Members in Sri Lanka to continue to provide people and skills for disaster relief in the future through an independent RedR Lanka.

Moving towards a sustainable future

Recently the key humanitarian actors in Sri Lanka have shifted from international NGOs to those working at a local level. Prem B Chand, former RedR Country Director in Sri Lanka explains, “Grassroots level organisations and government institutes are becoming increasingly important in the delivery of humanitarian programmes. In 2010 the Sri Lanka team focused on ways that the programme could be even more accessible to, and develop the capacity of these groups.”
At the end of September 2010 RedR UK completed its direct presence in Sri Lanka. RedR Members and other personnel working in the humanitarian sector in Sri Lanka are currently developing an independent RedR Lanka that will continue the work of the RedR UK programme in membership and training.

“The creation of a RedR Lanka will allow for the long term, sustainable provision of training and capacity building, especially for local agencies and communities, ensuring they are able to cope with and respond to disasters in the future.  We are very proud to see the RedR programme grow into a permanent part of the continuing humanitarian response in Sri Lanka,” Prem explains.

RedR UK continues to support RedR Lanka through its Members and offer learning services when needed.  RedR would like to thank everyone who supported the RedR programme in Sri Lanka, in particular our donors Big Lottery Fund UK, DFID, DEC and ECHO, and our partners in Sri Lanka.


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