Sri Lanka

Recovery after civil war and natural disasters


ZOA has been working in Sri Lanka since 1995. Since the civil war came to an end in 2009, ZOA supports returnees with livelihoods development and community enhancement.

Lasting peace opens up possibilities to work on more long-term development goals. For ZOA staff this means a challenge to change their way of working from running projects to facilitating change.


Sri Lankans did not only suffer as a result of the Tsunami in 2004, but also from acts of war. By the end of May 2009, the almost 30 years of civil war officially ended. 

ZOA has been active in Sri Lanka since 1995. Despite the increase of violence in this region, ZOA remains active in the North and East of the country, i.e. in the Jaffna, Ampara, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. 2010 was for many Sri Lankans a year of return and recovery. In the final months of 2009, IDPs were released from camps to which they had fled during the civil war.

The official end of civil war has brought an initial surge in overall security, stability and economic activity. Economic growth through access to previously closed fishing grounds and newly accessible paddy lands was recorded around 8% for 2010, while records indicate growth in both service and tourist industries.


ZOA Sri Lanka works towards resettlement and rehabilitation of people affected by war or natural disaster in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

In the Northern programme, ZOA assists resettling families with income generation packages, supports business start-ups, strengthens value chains and supports people in taking up their old profession. In general, this has been successful and sustainable. People restarted their businesses and could quickly provide in their basic needs.

Because of their isolated locations, many of ZOA’s target communities are, however, unable to benefit from the rapid economic development and government services. ZOA tries to link these communities directly to markets and make them aware of the prices they can receive.

ZOA is  allowed to work in more and more areas in the North, where the true remnants of the war become visible. There are still enormous unmet needs in the North.

In the Eastern programme, ZOA works on the formation and strengthening of CBOs. In East Sri Lanka, returnees are able to rebuild their lives and ZOA supports these people with projects in the area of subsistence, for example by helping them set up small businesses. ZOA expects to be able to hand over its activities to local organisations within the next three to five years.






Funded by the European Union. For more information, please refer to 



Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
7° 52' 26.7348" N, 80° 46' 1.5636" E