The government will spread its reach at the grassroots level by establishing a network of community based organizations under the Divineguma Act passed in Parliament last week, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday.
According to the new Act these organisations will be established at Grama Niladiri division level and would consist of Divineguma beneficiaries.
“Small groups will be set up at village level based on their livelihood activities such as pottery and dairy farming. Also, urban slum dwellers and estate workers will be grouped separately under this programme,” the minister.
The Economic Development Ministry which introduced the new law is now seeking assistance from resource persons to establish these organisations at village level. Minister Basil Rajapaksa said the individuals with experience in microfinance, humanitarian work and related activities could assist us in the formation of these groups.
“We will publish a newspaper advertisement soon asking resource persons to assist us. Those who have worked in microfinance activities and NGOs can volunteer to help us,” the minister said.
He said microfinance and food security at villages would be the main targets of this programme. He said that there would be early warning systems regarding food security with the new law coming into effect.
“There is a Sri Lanka who worked for such a programme in Bangladesh. That lady official has experience and expertise regarding early warning on food security. She is ready to help us,” the minister said and added that some legislative work remained to be done under the new law to establish the Divineguma Department.
“We need to impose some regulations under the new Act,” he said.
The Act seeks to amalgamate the Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority, the Udarata Development Authority and the Southern Development Authority under one umbrella to form the Divineguma Department. (Kelum Bandara )