Sri Lanka private sector disaster relief still not aligned with govt efforts
ECONOMYNEXT – Although Sri Lanka’s private sector has stepped up efforts to provide relief to victims of natural disasters, lack of co-ordination with government still results in much duplication, an official said.
During disasters like floods, lots of private firms, non-governmental organisations and community leaders “come to the fore and announce lots of assistance,” said Chaminda Pathiraja, director of the National Disaster Relief Services Centre.
“The major problem with this relief aid by the private sector and other agencies is that they are not aligned with government systems,” he told a conference on adaptive social protection organised by the World Bank.
“We noticed a lot of duplication happening.”
Pathiraja said government relief is sent through its administration arm like the district and divisional secretaries responsible for distribution of relief.
“The private sector and other agencies still do not have good relationships with the grassroots-level administration set up which cannot wait until the private sector comes with relief.”
By using government procedures the state organisations continuously provide dry rations and relief.
“In 2017 and early 2018, we started conversations with the Chamber of Commerce and NGOs to make private sector relief programs in line with that of the government. We are now trying to make it happen but still there is a gap.”
(COLOMBO, 28 September, 2018)