10 June 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Today, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and three other implementing agencies signed agreements with the High Commission of India to implement the Indian Housing Project in the Central and Uva Provinces in Sri Lanka. Mr. Tim McNair, Chief Technical Advisor of UN-Habitat Sri Lanka, signed the agreement on behalf of UN-Habitat while Mr.Chandru A, Second Secretary, Development Cooperation of the High Commission of India, signed on behalf of the Government of India.
The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Mr. Arindam Bagchi, Deputy High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka and Mrs. Ranjini Nadarajapillai, Secretary, Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development. Officials from the Ministry and the Plantation Human Development Trust were also present.
Four implementing agencies – the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) with Sri Lanka Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the National Housing Development Agency (NHDA) have been selected to implement this project, in close collaboration with The Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), the respective Regional Plantation Companies and Estate Worker Housing Cooperative Societies of the selected tea estates.
The Indian Government is providing approximately $30 million funding for the project over the next two years. The project will involve the construction of 4,000 houses through an innovative community-driven model involving the Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Societies and beneficiary families currently living in line rooms. The 4,000 houses is a part of India’s overall commitment to fund the construction of 50,000 houses in conflict-effected and plantation regions of Sri Lanka.