Micro-grants and Auxiliary Services for Business Development in Tsunami-affected Communities / Sri Lanka
Since January 2005, Hilfswerk Austria (HWA) has completed a range of post-tsunami relief projects in Sri Lanka. Among these projects, the Austrian Development Cooperation has provided financial support for the reconstruction of 75 private houses in the area of Rajawatta/Wellabada, close to Ambalangoda (Galle district); another Austrian donor agency has provided financial support for constructing 113 private houses in Sarvodayapurim, close to Pottuvil (Ampara district). These families are the primary target group of this project, which strives to complement shelter provision with means to re-establish economic livelihood.
One and a half years after the disaster, many people have returned to some kind of income generating business. Others, however, continue to lack sufficient investment capital to return to the a-priori state. The project will provide financial and educational support to those who did not manage to return to their former economic activities or cannot find adequate occupation on their own, especially by means of small-scale start-up financing which is accompanied by training in basic business practices (accounting, marketing). In addition, the project will aim at integrating communities into the program that have suffered indirectly from the tsunami, meaning villagers who live inlands but whose livelihoods have indirectly suffered from the aftermath of the sea earthquake and tidal wave.