Towards peaceful prosperous nation
Samurdhi and livelihood development program:
The village is considered the axis of national development and it is
evident that to achieve national development is desired and required
through successful development village.
Construction and improvements of infrastructure facilities,
establishment of livelihoods and creation of a virtuous society in the
The main program, run by the Government - Gama Neguma (uplifting the
village) - is based on these three pivots. Requisite planning is already
under way to cover all the villages in the island under this program
during this year.
Last year with this program, under the Ministry of Nation Building
and Estate Infrastructure, 4968 projects in 4172 villages were launched
are in progress with an investment of Rs. 4000 million, exclusive of the
financial value of the moral boosting activities and the items of work
fulfilled with community participation.
The Gama Neguma program is taking steps through proper coordination
of the programs undertaken by various line ministries, provincial
councils and non governmental organisations in the villages to avoid
duplication and inefficiency.
With the reshuffle of cabinet on January 2007, Ministry of Nation
Building and Estate Infrastructure was established bringing;
The Samurdhi Authority and the Department of Commissioner General of
The Southern Development Authority;
The Udarata Development Authority;
The Department of Up-country Peasantry Rehabilitation;
The Rural Development Training and Research Institute;
And the International Centre for the Training of Rural Leaders, under
its purview. This newly established Ministry replaced six former
ministries namely Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure, Samurdhi,
Regional Development, Rural Economic Development, Livelihood Development
and Fisheries Housing Development. The programs of the Ministry covers
all 25 districts in the island and by a Gazette notification of 10th
Aiming the poverty alleviation is another major area in the mandate
of the Ministry as per the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’. Strategies and programs
are compiled and implemented accordingly.
In this context, a host of income generation and small scale
enterprises were launched and are in progress based on small and medium
scale loan schemes, Vocational Training programs and supportive devices
implemented throughout the country by Samurdhi division.
In addition regional development programs are carried out covering
all the parts of our island nation. Further the program focuses on
fulfilling livelihood objectives by providing infrastructure facilities
and finding markets which shoulder the production process.
Under the Purview of the Ministry of Nation Building, the Samurdhi
Commissioner General’s Department as well as the Samurdhi Authority
carry out the Samurdhi and Livelihood Development program.
- Formulation of policies, programs and project for poverty
alleviation with special attention to Samurdhi beneficiaries -
Implementation of social safety network program - Formulation of
Livelihood Development Programs including Micro enterprises focusing
Samurdhi beneficiaries - Facilitation of Samurdhi beneficiaries to
identify feasible projects , provision of credit, extension services,
marketing and managing the respective businesses are lined up under this
Last year was one which changed the route so far adopted by the rural
development sector. It included the rural development sector which
extended to the Samurdhi projects to each and every Grama Niladhari
Division and it marked the launching of the Jathika Saviya Village
awakening program with the objective of developing 4,000 selected
villages under the ‘Jathika Saviya - Gama Neguma’ program implemented
according to the Mahinda Chinthana.
The Department of the Samurdhi Commissioner General carry out
Samurdhi Relief Program, Nutrition Allowance program, Smurdhi Social
Protection program, Samurdhi Sipdora scholarship program, Supply of
essential services to other Ministries and Departments and Development
of Human and Physical Resources of the Institution.
The Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority aims raising productivity through
effective utilization, of the human and physical resources of the
institution through eradicating poverty through the complete
strengthening of the low income recipients.
It is their responsibility to converse the lives of the poor in to a
business based high percentage self financing life. Youth participation
for the development of the poor families is also enhanced.
The Samurdhi Relief Program provides financial assistance to low
income earning families to maintain a living standard level of minimum.
The program being implemented for selected families as a means of
getting them to effectively participate in the overall economic process
of the country.
Therefore the Samurdhi Relief Program is identified as a social
welfare directed at the economic development.
The families are classified according to the number of members in the
beneficiary family and cards of appropriate financial value are issued
The Nutrition allowance programme, launched in 1994, focuses on
raising the nutritional standard of the feeding mothers in the low
income earning families. This allowance is made available for 12 months
from the month after the child birth, by way of a stamp card.
This program was updated under the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’program and a
new program known as ‘Nutrition package’ is being implemented in
selected Divisional Secretariat divisions in the island. It is being
implemented in association with the Ministry of Health and Nutrition.
This project was launched as per the ‘Income and Expenditure
Disparities and Poverty in Sri Lanka’ conducted by the Department of
Census and Statistics. This program was launched in 2006 in nine
divisions as a pilot project.Samurdhi Social Security program was
inaugurated under the scheme to prevent the poor public from falling in
to the lower depths of poverty as a result of sudden economic
The ‘Sipdora’ Scholarship program opens doors for the children of low
income earning families to higher education after passing the G.C.E.
(Ordinary Level) examination. This is operated in 22 districts and 20
scholarships are awarded for each DS division.
In addition under the Samurdhi scheme an animal husbandry and
fisheries development program, eradicating the use of liquor and
narcotics, development of the growth of the children and many other
social empowerment projects are progressed.
The Samurdhi scheme was launched aiming at a prosperous Sri Lanka
eradicating poverty. As per the recent progress report by the Ministry a
total of 1.9 million families are receiving the benefits to uplift their
livelihood and emerge of poverty.
Under this project a prominent feature is the Samurdhi Banks.
Currently there are 1040 bank societies and the banks are on the process
of converting to a total computerized network.
As a relief to the Tsunami destructed families, the authorities took
measures to write-off loans taken by selected beneficiary families
amounting to a total sum of Rs. 604, 096.This successful venture,
turning the poor families to business based income generating families,
has come to the fourth place in the world’s small financial institutes,
a ministry progress report states.
The Samurdhi program runs all over this island providing
opportunities to all, socially and economically empowering by focusing
on balanced sustainable development of the village and villagers and
leading to the development of the regions and eventually the country
making every citizen a beneficiary to live in peace and harmony in this
beautiful island nation.