Sinhala  Tamil    Seperate    
Governtment of Sri Lanka


( Created date: 19-Nov-2003 )

Dr. Carol Becker, Mission Director, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), inaugurated three development grants near Puttalam yesterday. The grants to two hospitals and a fishing cooperative society are designed to promote the island-wide benefits of peace.

Dr. Becker laid the foundation stone for a maternity ward and safe drinking water system at the Kalpitiya District Hospital near Puttalam. This USAID grant will construct a maternity unit for 30 resident mothers, including a labor room, a premature baby unit, post-natal and ante-natal sections, a nurse's duty room, a midwife's room, and other basic utilities.

Development assistance to Kalpitiya District Hospital will also include the construction of a 5,000-gallon water tank, which will ensure a safe and uncontaminated water supply for the hospital. The USAID grant of U.S. $64,000 will be administered by Child Vision, a local community based organization. Over 20,000 people will benefit from these improvements at Kalpitiya District Hospital.

Dr. Becker also inaugurated a grant for a medical incinerator at another local medical facility, the Puttalam Base Hospital. The incinerator will prevent the spread of disease by ensuring the better disposal of hazardous medical waste. The grant, worth U.S.$12,500, is also administered by Child Vision.

While in Puttalam, Dr. Becker attended the opening ceremony for a USAID project that will improve the lives of Puttalam lagoon fisherman. She presented 25 fiberglass canoes and 100 sets of fishing nets to the "Puttalam Town Valar Pirai Cooperative Society" to be used on a rotation basis by 100 fishing families. This grant, valued at U.S.$16,000, also provides training sessions for the fisherman. A local community-based organization, Integrated Health Organization, administered this project.

The mission of USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives is to share the benefits of peace with Sri Lankans throughout the island. USAID helps people to work together, thus encouraging inter-ethnic and inter-religious cooperation within communities.

The OTI program was established within the USAID mission in Colombo earlier this year. It supports the peace process by showing local communities island-wide the benefits of peace. Through its flexible small-grants program, USAID/OTI has made U.S.$2 million in grants so far this year.



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