Post-conflict shelter programme helps 55,000 people build a brighter future for themselves and their community

Published: 2 June 2015 9:12 CET

By Mahieash Johnney and Zafran Packeerally, IFRC

The Post-Conflict Recovery Project by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and funded by the Indian Government, has completed over 11,100 permanent houses with 55,000 people moving into new homes following the 30 year conflict.

In 2010, the Red Cross began its mission to aid the people who were returning from the conflict by commissioning 300 new houses. However within a few years the society, alongside with IFRC, increased the support to over 3,500 houses. Later on, with funding from the Indian Government, the programme was increased to 17,900 houses.

Earlier this year, 36-year-old Amirtha Vadhani and her son moved to a newly built house in Thirumurukandy village. She was displaced in 2009 and was forced her to move to a temporary camp. After the dust of conflict settled she was able to move back, but her home was no longer there.

The Post-Conflict Recovery Project was created to support people like Vadhani to rebuild their home and to have a stable future.

“When I saw my name on the beneficiary list, I was overjoyed yet concerned at the same time. My first question was how am I to finish this house by myself,” Vadhani said.  Fortunately, she was not on her own. In addition to funds, the Red Cross also offered technical support to build the house. For their part, the beneficiaries must find the manual labour for the build. Vadhani was able to gather the support of people in her village so she could complete the work at the given timeframe.

From the planned 17,500 houses the Red Cross has managed to complete 11,165 so far and have handed the keys over to the beneficiaries who can then begin turning the houses into homes.

Nimal Silva, the Programme Manager of the Post Conflict Recovery Programme, said the target was to deliver the remaining 6,335 houses by the end of this year. “However, there are over 50,000 more houses required in order to cater to the needs of people who are yet to be settled,” he said.

Joining him is his counterpart from IFRC Mukesh Singh, who said: “The Red Cross Post-Conflict Recovery Project is intended to provide the whole package for the people we serve. We do not simply give people a house, but provide the means and support that allows people to have a better life once they move in.”


For more information about the Sri Lanka Red Cross Post Conflict Recovery Programme please visit