The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS)
The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) is a joint venture by the Government of Japan and the United Nations Secretariat. The UNTFHS places priority on promoting multi-sectoral and inter-agency integration based on the comparative advantage of the diverse expertise of agencies within the UN system. In Sri Lanka, the UNTFHS will be supporting the three year Integrated Programme for Empowering Conflict-affected Communities to rebuild their lives in North and East Sri Lanka (ECAC) jointly through ILO, UNDP, and UNICEF. This joint effort focuses on Vavuniya and Batticaloa districts and will ensure that synergies and complementarities between the three agencies are realized to increase the impact in target communities.
UNDP will implement the ECAC through its Equal Access to Justice (EA2J) Project, which was launched in 2004 aimed at ensuring greater and diverse access to justice redress mechanisms for all Sri Lankans. Through the ECAC, the EA2J Project will focus on legal awareness raising and access to legal aid at community level as well as supporting documentation services at the divisional level in both districts. In particular, the EA2J will target vulnerable women and children and link these groups to support from UNICEF and ILO. To prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse, UNICEF will implement the ECAC through the Ministry of Child Development, the Department of Probation and Child Care Services, the magistrates and the police and support them in the discharge of their respective mandates. Moreover, UNICEF will be focusing on reaching vulnerable children and women affected by the conflict by supporting the provision of reintegration services, including access to education, skill training and health services, for instance, and by strengthening safety-net programmes through the Ministry of Social Services. In addition, to ensure the provision of sustainable security these target vulnerable groups will be linked with UNDP and ILO for documentation and income generation support, respectively. Meanwhile, ILO will focus on providing business start-up and continuity support through the provision of seed capital, support for credit/savings groups and providing vulnerable children, (particularly girls) with access to all forms of skills training. It will also create opportunities for women’s’ economic empowerment as a positive way of responding to the urgent needs of these target groups in conflict-affected locations.
Joint UN Programme for the Prevention of and Response to Gender-based Violence (GBV)
The Joint UN Programme for the Prevention of and Response to Gender-based Violence (GBV) aligns with and supports the on-going processes and mechanisms of national partners in the health, criminal justice, law enforcement and social services sectors to progress further towards fulfilling their international commitments to reduce GBV. A key activity under the programme is strengthening the lead state gender machinery, the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, to expedite the implementation of the National Plan of Action for Women and the Plan of Action Supporting the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (2005), which are comprehensive mechanisms that address the multiple issues of women including GBV.
The programme primarily focuses on women and girls in the post conflict-affected areas of the North, East, and the plantation sector. The rationale for implementing the Joint Programme derives from the Plan of Action Supporting the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act that recognises the higher vulnerability of women and girls to gender- based violence in these areas due to their socio-economic poverty.
Jointly implemented by ILO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF and WHO and supported by the UN Resident Coordinator and the Chairperson of the UN Gender Theme Group, the programme came into operation in 2011. It falls under the Gender Pillar of United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2008-2012) for Sri Lanka and in particular contributes towards the outcome, “Women are further empowered to contribute and benefit equitably and equally in political, economic and social life.”
EU-UN joint intervention supporting integrated district development in Sri Lanka
Building on the long standing support extended to Sri Lanka for its Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction efforts, the United Nations together with the European Union have designed a Joint Programme aimed at supporting integrated district development in selected districts in North and East and cross border activities in adjacent districts.
The Joint Programme – European Union – Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP), will be implemented by agencies of the United Nations namely: UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, FAO, ILO and IFC of the World Bank Group. This Programme; funded by the European Union is expected to span over 2012 – 2017 with grant assistance amounting to approx. LKR 9 billion (approx.USD 70 Million) in total and is aimed at benefitting the districts of Ampara and Batticaloa in the Eastern Province, Vavuniya and Mannar in the Northern Province and border villages in the districts of Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Monaragala.
This Programme consists of three main components identified in line with the national priorities of the National Development Framework Sri Lanka: The Mahinda Chinthana.
These three main components include:
- Support to poverty reduction and provision of basic infrastructure and services for vulnerable populations;
- Support to local economic development and
- Strengthening of district planning capacities;
and are expected to be carried out in close collaboration with the district and provincial authorities with interventions identified based on the priorities laid down in the District and Regional Development Plans.
The EU-UN lead joint initiative is considered an important intervention supporting the transition phase of assistance moving from rehabilitation to development and is expected to contribute to the sustainable and inclusive economic growth of Sri Lanka.