The Mercy Corps country program in Sri Lanka closed on January 15, 2012. Over seven years we implemented 22 programs worth $22 million in Sri Lanka, improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and leaving a strong legacy.
After seven years of working with communities across the country, we decided to close our operations in light of high taxation and visa difficulties for international organisations, government bans on assistance in post-conflict areas and the decline in available funding. Given these circumstances, as well as Sri Lanka’s socio-economic development levels in relation to the rest of South Asia, we felt we could not continue to work in Sri Lanka and make the kind of impact we would hope.
- Emergency response: Provided basic supplies, spurred clean-up and helped restart community tourism jobs in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
- Economic opportunity: Supported business recovery and created 1,500 jobs; piloted microfinance and insurance programs that have expanded to other Mercy Corps programs around the world
All stories about Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka: Resilience and resourcefulness
Thatcher asked me on our way to the Colombo airport if I had a favorite story from our now-completed travels. I couldn't come up with one; each made its own distinct impression. But in going over all the stories we'd heard, two qualities stood out: resilience and resourcefulness.
Sri Lanka: The SRI in Sri Lanka
At about 10 a.m. this morning I was treading carefully through a rice paddy under an already-blazing sun, trying to keep my balance on the beam of dry earth that kept me six inches safely above the mud.
Sri Lanka: Jungle Cruise
There are few better ways to end a hot, humid day in southern Sri Lanka than a breeze-filled river cruise. Especially one loaded with colorful birds, a swarm of bats and the occasional monkey sighting.
Sri Lanka: From Crisis, Opportunity
Sri Lanka: Rice in Small Batches
Rice is the staple of Sri Lankan cuisine. It's typically consumed at every meal, either in its familiar granular form or in variations with names like hoppers, string hoppers and pittu.
Sri Lanka: Recovery Amid Conflict
Sri Lanka's Ampara District hasn't had time to recover from the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: even as rebulding began, violent conflict engulfed the area, plunging already-shaken families into further turmoil and uncertainty.
Sri Lanka: Community groups helping neighbors
Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka - Community groups formed to guide village redevelopment in the wake of the tsunami are now playing a central role in Mercy Corps' distributions of cookware, tarps and other relief items to families fleeing their homes in the face of the country's escalating
Sri Lanka: Q&A: Crisis Displaces Sri Lankan Families
Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan Families Flee Violence
Sri Lanka: The Village That Could
Lyn Robinson remembers the tsunami's aftermath like it was yesterday.