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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

UN issues Mid-Term Review of Flash Appeal Funding

The Island: "12/04/2005 Says Sri Lanka’s infrastructure, shelter, livelihoods restoration, agriculture needs funding

The United Nations on Thursday (06) issued in Geneva a Mid-term Review of its flash appeal for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. The Flash Appeal which had been issued on January 06, was originally for $977 million and covered a six-month period. With the mid-term review UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, extended the Flash Appeal’s duration to 12 months and increased the total request to $1.087 billion. Ninety-two governments have thus far pledged $5.8 billion, with several billion more raised by private individuals and corporations.

In issuing the Mid-term Review Mr. Egland praised the "extraordinarily effective emergency relief effort," but drew notice to all the world’s other "neglected emergencies" that remain woefully under-funded. He cited a growing frustration in the post-tsunami reconstruction phase throughout the region, where houses have yet to be rebuilt and livelihoods restored. He said that the world community had to avoid a loss of momentum and needs to redouble its efforts in the coming months.

Regarding Sri Lanka, the Mid-Term Review shows that humanitarian emergency operations have been generally well funded while sectors such as critical infrastructure/environment, shelter/non-food items, restoration of livelihoods, agriculture and capacity building remain under funded. The January Flash Appeal had totalled US$ 157,250,671 for Sri Lanka, with US$ 155,723,646 of that being for the UN agencies, and the remainder being for the efforts of some international NGOs. As of March 1, contributions had reached US$ 128,478,571 of which US$ 122,258,657 was targeted to the UN agencies. The funding level as of 1 March stood at 77 per cent of that requested in the original Flash Appeal and represents a total shortfall of US$ 39.4 million, of which US$ 34 million was intented for the UN agencies. As of March the UN and its agencies had spent approximately US$ 54 million or 35 per cent of the amount contributed.

The support provided through the Flash Appeal has played a significant role in the immediate post-tsunami emergency humanitarian relief effort. Needs have generally been met with virtually all tsunami-affected people fed, protected from illness and disease and with more than 85 percent of children back in school. In addition, in most affected areas, people have gained access to adequate water and sanitation. Much debris has been cleared, particularly on main corridors and virtually all roads have been made accessible.

By extending the Flash Appeal to the end of 2005 funding can be more precisely and effectively targeted to where it is most critically needed between now and the end of the year. It is also an opportunity for donors to identify and support those projects that to date have been underfunded.

How and where longer-term reconstruction funding ultimately gets targeted awaits the finalization of the Sri Lankan Government’s National Reconstruction Plan; the results of the Second Phase of an International Financial Institutions/UN-led Needs Assessment – due to be completed by the end of April — and the finalization of a UN "W3" (Who, What, Where) survey, that is currently being compiled, on the activities and funding of NGOs involved in tsunami relief and reconstruction efforts nationwide. As these initiatives are finalized, a 24-month Transition Strategy from Relief to Recovery — which includes the period since the tsunami struck — is being developed, in consultation with the Government and other major stakeholders, by UN agencies. It will be completed by the end of May 2005.
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