Norway joins hands with ILO to support Employment Generation and Livelihoods through Reconciliation

H.E. Mr. Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther, the Ambassador to Norway in Sri Lanka launched the Employment Generation and Livelihoods through Reconciliation (EGLR) project in Jaffna on 19th October 2017 in the presence of government officials, members of the community and local polity.

Press release | Colombo, Sri Lanka | 27 October 2017
The Ambassador H.E. Mr. Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther unveiling a plaque for a new fruit and vegetable processing and packaging centre in the division of Teleppalie in the district of Jaffna
The EGLR project is being funded by the Government of Norway and is being implemented in collaboration with the ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This project intends to contribute to the employment generation and livelihood programme ILO has been implementing in the Northern Province and focuses specifically on scaling up the activities in the fruits and vegetable and the fishery sectors targeting vulnerable communities, with a special focus on women.

In his keynote address, the Ambassador highlighted that in the fruit and vegetables sector, the project had already supported more than 800 families in the districts of Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi through strengthening production, processing and marketing capacities while ensuring high income for the products. He further stated that the embassy of Norway through the technical assistance from ILO intends to support producers in the North to grow and sell fresh and processed high demand fruits and vegetables to the regional, national and export markets. The Ambassador also participated in a ceremony organised by the ILO laying a foundation stone for a new fruit and vegetable processing and packaging centre in the division of Teleppalie in the district of Jaffna.

The processing and packaging house initiative launched in Jaffna will support vulnerable farmers who have been engaged in subsistence farming to uplift their living standards while producing and marketing commercially viable quality processed fruits and vegetables to national and international markets.

The EGLR project uses networks the ILO has already built amongst government and private sector organisations including farmers groups, fishermen, buyers and exporters. The project uses its’ innovative work on creating and fostering partnerships which have already played a pivotal role creating positive impact in terms of economic growth, jobs, incomes and cross community dialogue. The focus of the project has and continues to be on contributing to a more inclusive and equitable post conflict recovery and economic development. It is one of the ILO’s responses in creating decent work opportunities to support inclusive growth and reconciliation in post conflict districts.