The Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) chaired by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has conducted an extensive survey with the District Secretaries of eight districts in Northern and Eastern provinces resulting in the design of an Enterprise Based Village Development Project (EBVDP).
On submission of the Cabinet Memorandum by President Maithripala Sirisena as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Project last week, and it is expected to be formally launched towards the end of March 2017.
The project is designed to be implemented in Northern and Eastern provinces, which have been affected the most due to the conflict and in need of an entrepreneurship life cycle to reap the benefits of untapped economic potential.
In this context, the EBVDP is specifically identified as a priority for uplifting the living standards of conflict affected entrepreneurs including women headed households, war widows and unemployed youth. The project would span across 113 villages in North and East, assisting to uplift their income generation activities, through 1,785 selected entrepreneurs. The total value of the project is Rs. 446 million which will consist of both credit and grant components.
The loan scheme, with an individual loan at a maximum value of Rs. 250,000, is to be implemented through a state and a private bank. Out of the entire loan amount 25% of the total estimated cost of each individual business plan will be borne by the ONUR as a grant, and interest of the loan component will be met by ONUR on behalf of the beneficiaries.