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Strengthening livelihoods in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Flooding in Bangladesh © DFID CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh

Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Plan Sri Lanka implemented a Small Tank Rehabilitation and Farming System project in the drought-hit Anuradhapura district. Food insecurity in this region is high, leaving 30% of children under the age of 10 malnourished. The project improves water security by rehabilitating and restoring the physical structures of traditional age-old small tank11 systems. Introducing crop diversification (to secure better incomes), home gardens (for better family food security and nutrition) and inland fisheries (for food and profit), the project positively affects the welfare and resilience of drought-affected families. The project engages government at district level through agencies related to agriculture, irrigation and district planning.

Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre manages a project that concretely links risk reduction with livelihood support at household level in very low-income, disaster prone neighbourhoods. The project makes sure that 50% of the beneficiaries are women. It funds skills development and provides investment in livelihoods activities on the condition that part of the income generated is used for household risk reduction measures such as raising the plinth of houses, strengthening structures, storing grain in attic rooms, etc. This programme is an interesting mix of government financial commitment (the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management directed their funds for rehabilitating flood victims to the project) and NGO implementation – a combination that has worked very well for the programme and beneficiary community."

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