Sri Lanka tsunami survivors revive livelihoods with ILO support

June 26, 2008 (LBO) – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Belgian government have helped tsunami survivors in eastern Sri Lanka rebuild their lives through self-employment schemes, a senior official said. The ILO’s CB-TREE (community-based training for economic empowerment) methodology has helped restore livelihoods and revival of the local economy of the Amparai district, said Mahinda Madihahewa, secretary to the Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower.

Altogether, the project has set up 92 enterprises involving 840 direct beneficiaries with around 2,500 dependents, he told a meeting Thursday.

It also gave training to people in seven selected communities in the area.

“The surest way to take people out of poverty is employment,” Madihahewa said.

“In countries where there are constraints in promoting formal employment, the policies for reducing poverty should be aimed at stimulating investment and output growth in the non-formal segment and ensuring employment,” he said.

“In this context, CB-TREE provides a practical methodology for promoting non-formal employment generation.”

The programme is a tool to promote income-generation and self-employment for the poor and in deve