Red Cross gives tsunami hit Sri Lankan families’ cash grants to rebuild homes

Dec 05 (LBO) – Relief Agency the American Red Cross said Tuesday that it will give ten million dollars in cash grants to over 3000 Sri Lankan families to rebuild their homes destroyed in the tsunami two years ago. The tsunami that struck on December 26, 2004 extensively damaged or destroyed about 100,000 homes and killed about 31,000 people living along Sri Lanka’s coast.

The project is to be an ‘owner-driven’ housing program, with affected people receiving cash grants directly as well as technical support to rebuild.

Through these grants, homeowners will be able to hire contractors directly and purchase building materials. Funds will be transferred in stages, as each phase of construction is evaluated by professional monitors to ensure it is technically sound and meets local standards, the Red Cross said.

In addition to grants, homeowners will also receive technical assistance in areas such as construction, land disputes, disaster preparedness, water and sanitation, and livelihoods.

“Through this program the Red Cross is providing immediate support to homeowner reconstruction, while empowering beneficiaries in their own recovery,” Jagath Abeysinghe, President of the Sri Lanka