U.S. Government Supports Disabled Sri Lankans
December 3, 2012
U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison handed over wheelchairs to children at the prosthetic and orthotic center of the National Children's Hospital in Colombo, marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. The center is part of a $2 million program funded by USAID, the U.S. Government's development arm, to improve access to quality physical rehabilitation services for some 8,640 disabled and injured children, women and men across the country. The Handicap International implemented program also operates a prosthetic and orthotic center at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, and plans are underway to set up a permanent center at the Killinochchi Hospital.
Marking the day Ambassador Sison said, "Many Sri Lankans have been affected by disabilities throughout the country, and the U.S. is proud to support efforts to better integrate all Sri Lankans so that everyone can play a positive role for change.”
Gilles Nouzies, Handicap International’s Country Director added, "Handicap International is focusing on International Day of Persons with Disabilities to showcase through raising awareness and experience the positive effects that lead to the empowerment of persons with disabilities to participate fully in societal life. This results in their entire community benefiting from their contribution. This is only accomplished when barriers to their inclusion are removed."
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided development and humanitarian assistance in developing countries worldwide for nearly 50 years. Since 1956, the U.S. government has invested over $2 billion to benefit all the people of Sri Lanka.