Sri Lanka women key beneficiaries of rural road project: ADB

Dec 15, 2009 (LBO) – The Asian Development Bank said it has approved a project to build roads linking isolated rural villages in Sri Lanka that will employ poor villagers, especially women. “At least 50 percent of the workers will be women, with opportunities extended to war widows and female heads of households.”

The two regions are recovering after a 30-year ethnic war, which ended in May when government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists.

The ADB said NGOs will also help the workers in opening and maintaining bank accounts so that a part of their income will be paid directly into individual accounts.

“These savings may provide a base for the establishment of micro and small-scale enterprises after completion of the road work,” the ADB said.

“Isolation and marginalisation are fundamental causes of poverty, and the villages in the project area have been isolated and marginalised for many years,” said Francesco Tornieri, Social Development Specialist in ADB’s South Asia Department.

“Through the rehabilitation of rural access roads, this project will help address the underlying causes of poverty and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to a consid