UN agency assists Sri Lanka to create jobs for war widows

UNIDO Director-General Kandeh Yumkella

11 June 2010 – The United Nations Industrial development Organization (UNIDO) said today it was helping the Sri Lankan Government to provide jobs to an estimated 40,000 widows in the island country’s northern and eastern regions, which bore the brunt of nearly three decades of civil war.

UNIDO is supporting technology transfer and value addition projects to small- and medium-size industries, according to Kandeh Yumkella, the agency’s Director-General, who is conducting a three-day visit to Sri Lanka. UNIDO is also supporting Sri Lanka to develop renewable energy sources.

In May last year the Government declared that its war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was over after its forces defeated the separatist group following years of fighting.

Mr. Yumkella said Sri Lankan industries have the potential to compete effectively in the international market, adding that the country had a comparative advantage in some sectors despite the infrastructure challenges it faced.

“In the industrial sector it [Sri Lanka] has demonstrated the ability to compete globally in selected sectors. This is a sound platform to build upon,” Mr. Yumkella said.

He said UNIDO also supported the country’s industrial sector by helping laboratories acquire the international accreditation that enabled manufacturers to compete globally.

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