KOICA provides UN-Habitat with $ 2 m to improve living conditions, skills of Central Province plantation communities
Yesterday, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a grant agreement with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to implement a one year project in Sri Lanka’s Central Province to improve the living conditions and skills of communities in plantation settlements.
The Government of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is providing funding of $ 2 million to implement this project entitled ‘Human Development Initiative through Empowerment and Settlement Improvement in the Plantation Settlements in Sri Lanka’. The project will contribute towards human development through capacity building of youth, communities and local authorities; increasing resilience of communities through settlement planning and community infrastructure; and through awareness creation towards mainstreaming plantation settlements. It is expected to benefit over 10,000 persons directly and 250,000 persons indirectly in Nuwara Eliya district. 
The signing of the grant agreement between KOICA Sri Lanka Resident Representative Lee Dong-ku and Dr. Chanaka Talpahewa of UN-Habitat Sri Lanka, took place at the United Nations Compound in Colombo. Officers from KOICA and UN-Habitat were also present at the event. 
Commencing on 1 January 2017 and continuing for 12 months, the project will be implemented by UN-Habitat in partnership with the Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) and Estate Worker Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS). UN-Habitat is planning to work in four settlements and two surrounding villages in the Kothmale and Nuwara Eliya Divisional Secretariats in Nuwara Eliya district. The settlements are where the agency is currently implementing a housing project for estate workers, with funding from the Indian Government. 
The new project will follow scientific settlement planning principles and ensure a holistic approach towards achieving the 2019 targets of the National Plan of Action for Plantation Infrastructure Development (NPA) and provide lessons for subsequent projects with a special focus on water, sanitation and waste management and skills development. It will also contribute to KOICA’s strategy to support fragile states and strengthen resilience towards sustainable development and establish an economic foundation for socially vulnerable groups.
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