USAID helps rebuild Jaffna psychiatric ward

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 June 2005, 10:56 GMT]
US Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided a grant of US$225,000 to rehabilitate a new psychiatric wing at the Tellipalai Hospital in Jaffna, a press release issued by the US Embassy in Colombo said. USAID is an independent agency that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Full text of the press release follows:

THOUSANDS IN JAFFNA TO BENEFIT FROM IMPROVED HEALTH CENTER AND SANITATION FACILITIES

Project to improve psychiatric care in conflict-affected district

Colombo, June 1, 2005: One thousand outpatients and 60 inpatients each month will now have access to a rehabilitated psychiatric ward in the Thelipallai Hospital in Jaffna thanks to a grant from the United States worth $ 225,000. In addition, 300 displaced families in Jaffna, half of which are headed by women, will benefit from newly constructed sanitation facilities and access to clean water. The American-financed project also trained fifteen Internally Displaced young men in concrete casting and pre-fabrication skills to construct latrines to service formerly displaced families returning to Thelipallai, Jaffna, Kopay, Point Pedro and Chavakachcheri.

Representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) participated in a ceremonial re-opening of the upgraded hospital wing and toured sanitation and clean water facilities in Jaffna on Wednesday, June 1st. Mike DeSisti, Country Representative for USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, said, "Despite the clear and immediate needs of tsunami-affected communities in Sri Lanka, it is important that we remain mindful of the tremendous toll of 20 years of conflict - not only in the North and East but elsewhere on the island as well. Access to quality mental health care services is critically important. The American people are pleased to play a part in assisting Sri Lankans to rebuild communities and restore normalcy to their lives."

The combined hospital and water-sanitation project was implemented by Community, Habitat, Finance (CHF), a U.S.-based non-governmental organization, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, German development agency GTZ, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) program seeks to generate greater support for a negotiated peace settlement through small-grant activities that aim to increase collaboration and participation among diverse groups, or to create awareness and increase understanding of key transition issues. Since USAID initiated the program March 2003, OTI has signed 385 small-grant agreements - mostly with local organizations - totaling more than $10.4 million.

 

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