The Mercy Corps country programme in Sri Lanka closed on January 15, 2012. Over seven years we implemented 22 programmes worth £13 million in Sri Lanka, improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and leaving a strong legacy.
After seven years of working with communities across the country, we decided to close our operations in light of high taxation and visa difficulties for international organisations, government bans on assistance in post-conflict areas and the decline in available funding. Given these circumstances, as well as Sri Lanka’s socio-economic development levels in relation to the rest of South Asia, we felt we could not continue to work in Sri Lanka and make the kind of impact we would hope.
- Emergency response: Provided basic supplies, spurred clean-up and helped restart community tourism jobs in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
- Economic opportunity: Supported business recovery and created 1,500 jobs; piloted microfinance and insurance programmes that have expanded to other Mercy Corps programmes around the world
All stories about Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka: A can-do spirit August 17, 2009
Nalagama Sinhala Junior School operates on something less than a shoestring. There's no library, no computers, no science lab. Recently, the older students performed a chemistry experiment involving oxygen using a plastic bucket rather than a glass beaker.
Sri Lanka: Welcomed signs in Navgirinagar July 24, 2009
As the clear skies of Ampara and Batticaloa districts in eastern Sri Lanka are quietly invaded by grey, there is talk of rain. Since a majority of these districts’ residents fully or partially dependent on farming for their livelihood, rain — at the right time — is a boon.
Sri Lanka: Drinking water for Sri Lanka's IDPs July 8, 2009
We're now supplying filtered drinking water to more than 46,000 displaced people in northern Sri Lanka — and a 100-bed hospital.
Sri Lanka: Farming Rice, Intensively June 18, 2009
Rice is central to Sri Lanka's economy and culture. So it's not hard to imagine how a new technique for improving rice production would be eagerly welcomed by farmers like Kanthi Weerasinghe.
Sri Lanka: Providing clean water to Sri Lanka's displaced June 16, 2009
Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans are still living in densely populated camps following last month's end to the island's 26-year civil war. Conditions in the camps are improving, but there's still not enough clean water and safe sanitation, according to the UN.
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka's displaced grows to 265,000 May 18, 2009
The war in Sri Lanka may appear to be over, but its humanitarian crisis is still unfolding. In recent months, an estimated 265,000 Tamil civilians have fled the final battleground between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, according to the UN.
Sri Lanka: Exodus of IDPs overwhelms northern Sri Lanka April 28, 2009
Mercy Corps is marshaling a humanitarian response to the growing crisis in northern Sri Lanka, where more than 90,000 people have fled fighting between Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan army in the past week.
Sri Lanka: Financing Higher Yields March 24, 2009
Thalankudha, Sri Lanka — When I met farmer Suman Suntharalingam in front of his mud-walled home here, he had just returned from selling 15 pounds of long beans and buying fuel for his water pump — two tasks that could be traced back to help he received from Mercy Corps.
Sri Lanka: Rice and Recovery March 23, 2009
Mercy Corps continues to help Sri Lanka "build back better" from the tsunami, and focus on the country's culinary staple — rice — as a way to lift farmers' incomes and protect families against global price shocks.
Sri Lanka: Resilience and resourcefulness February 19, 2009
Thatcher asked me on our way to the Colombo airport if I had a favorite story from our now-completed travels. I couldn't come up with one; each made its own distinct impression. But in going over all the stories we'd heard, two qualities stood out: resilience and resourcefulness.