UN Agencies

Una
McCauley
Resident Coordinator

Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO)

Una
McCauley
Resident Coordinator

The UN Resident Coordinator leads the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) as the designated representative of the Secretary-General for development operations.

Working closely with the national government, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNCT advocate the interests and mandates of the UN system while drawing on the support and guidance of the entire UN Family.

The Office of the Resident Coordinator (RCO) supports and facilitates cooperation and coordination among programmes, funds and agencies in Sri Lanka.

The following entities support the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and the UN Country Team: The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), The United Nations Department of Security and Safety (UNDSS), and the United Nations Information Centre in Colombo (UNIC).

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Juan
Fernandez
Senior Human Rights Advisor

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Juan
Fernandez
Senior Human Rights Advisor

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world’s commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. OHCHR has a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.

OHCHR has been working with Sri Lanka since 2004, providing technical assistance and advice to the UN Resident Coordinator and UN Agencies in their activities to promote human rights and strengthen the human rights capacity of the Government, national institutions and civil society.

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Vygintas
Sidlauskas
Security Advisor

United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS)

Vygintas
Sidlauskas
Security Advisor

The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS)  is responsible for providing leadership, operational support and oversight of the security management system, ensure the maximum security for staff and eligible dependants as well as enable the safest and most efficient conduct of the programmes and activities of the United Nations System.

The Chief Security Adviser/Security Adviser (CSA/SA) is a Department of Safety and Security (DSS) staff member and security professional appointed by the UN Under Secretary General DSS to advise the DO and the SMT in their security functions.

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United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Colombo is the principal source of information about the United Nations in Sri Lanka and the key to its ability to reach the people it serves. Since 1961, UNIC has been mandated to share global, regional and local information about the United Nations with the general public. Marking important United Nations declared days, years, observances and congresses through a wide range of outreach activities, educational programmes and media outreach, UNIC raises public awareness of the world organization, its purpose and ideals and also on UN priority themes.

In Sri Lanka, UNIC works closely with the Government, UN systems in the field, Zonal Education Offices, the United Nations Association of Sri Lanka (UNASL), Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations to reach out to and engage with student communities, youth and the general public across the country, by sharing the UN story with Sri Lankans in local languages. UNIC also assists the United Nations Regional Commissions in launching flagship publications and operates a reference library which provides the public with access to United Nations information sources.

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Nina
Brandstrup
Representative

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Nina
Brandstrup
Representative

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) started its programmes in Sri Lanka in 1948. FAO disseminates critical information about food, agriculture, and natural resources, and converts knowledge into action by improving agriculture practices including provision for improved livestock, forestry, fisheries and efficient environmental practices. Making sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food is at the heart of FAO’s efforts.

FAO in Sri Lanka works closely with the government to implement programmes in areas such as improved agricultural production systems, aquaculture development, nutrition, and climate change adaptation, with an aim to drive forward economic and social progress for all, and ensuring the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources. FAO also supports capacity development of technical officers in Government departments through trainings.

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Simrin
Singh
Country Director

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Simrin
Singh
Country Director

Sri Lanka became a Member State of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1948. The ILO is the United Nations specialized agency that promotes a job-centered and rights-based approach to development through social justice and the Decent Work Agenda. To this end, the ILO advocates for full and productive employment coupled with rights, representation and protection in the world of work as a means to reduce poverty.

ILO fulfills its mission by setting international labour standards, as well as shaping policies and programmes through its unique tripartite structure of workers’ and employers’ organizations participating as equal partners to governments.

ILO provides technical assistance to its member states through a Decent Work Country Programme, which detail the policies, strategies and results required to realize progress in each country, towards the goal of decent work for all.

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Eteri
Kvindradz
Resident Representative

International Monetary Organization (IMF)

Eteri
Kvindradz
Resident Representative

Sri Lanka joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a Member State in 1950. The fundamental mission of the IMF is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system. It does so by: keeping track of the global economy and the economies of member countries; lending to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and giving practical help to members.

Since its entrance into Sri Lanka, the IMF has been working with the Government and local authorities to rebuild national reserves, stabilize currency, and ensure conditions for strong economic growth.

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Giuseppe
Crocetti
Chief of Mission

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Giuseppe
Crocetti
Chief of Mission

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration and is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

Sri Lanka became a Member State of IOM in 1990, when it first provided transportation assistance to more than 90,000 Sri Lankans fleeing the Gulf War. IOM established its presence in Sri Lanka in 2002.

Since then, IOM has continued to work in close partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka in situations of crisis, as well as to address pressing and complex challenges in migration management. IOM plans to continue encouraging social and economic development through migration and providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

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Tim
Sutton
Representative

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Tim
Sutton
Representative

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the United Nations agency mandated by the General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights. The agency’s work in Sri Lanka began in the early 1950s and the first UNICEF country office was established in 1973.

Early work included supporting basic services in health, education, social welfare and water/sanitation. During the tsunami and the conflict, assistance was focused on emergency humanitarian relief. As Sri Lanka transitions to recovery and development, UNICEF’s focus too, has shifted to supporting policy and good practice to ensure that the rights of all children and, especially the most vulnerable who are at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation, are not forgotten.

UNICEF currently supports national policy development, capacity building, research and pilot projects that showcase model or innovative approaches that advance the rights of children.

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Jorn
Sorensen
Country Director

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Jorn
Sorensen
Country Director

Since 1967, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as a key development partner in Sri Lanka, has been working to achieve sustainable human development in economic, social and environmental fronts.

As the development arm of the United Nations, UNDP’s overarching goal is to empower and improve the lives of people.

Working closely with the Government at national, regional and local levels, the civil society and the private sector, UNDP’s work spans across poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, and environmental sustainability.

UNDP is proud to have worked with the people of Sri Lanka for nearly five decades, and is now focused on helping the country usher in the Post 2015 Development Agenda to achieve sustainable human development with a renewed commitment to empower women and youth.

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Rianawati
Representative

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Rianawati
Representative

In 1987, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was invited by the Government of Sri Lanka to facilitate large scale repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees from India under the Indian-Sri Lankan peace agreement. To date, UNHCR works with the Government in resolving issues and finding durable solutions for refugees; returning Sri Lankan refugees; stateless persons and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Together with UNHCR, Sri Lanka has made great strides in reintegrating IDP returnees and is often cited as one of the best examples in the region in resolving long-standing situation of statelessness through legal and policy reforms.

UNHCR at present carries out multi-faceted activities to support the Government in its efforts to resolve protracted displacement and promote durable solutions for all UNHCR persons of concern.

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Chanaka
Talpahewa
Country Programme Manager

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN HABITAT)

Chanaka
Talpahewa
Country Programme Manager

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements, mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities, with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

Working with governments, global and local partners and communities, UN-Habitat is actively engaged in initiatives on housing, risk reduction and rehabilitation, urban legislation, land and governance, the urban economy, urban basic services and settlement planning.

Building on a successful partnership dating back to 1978, UN-Habitat presently assists Sri Lanka in post disaster reconstruction, climate change and disaster risk reduction, water and sanitation, low income settlement upgrading, and urban planning. A key highlight is UN-Habitat’s assistance to post conflict returnee families to rebuild over 32,000 homes and essential community infrastructure.

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Ritsu
Nacken
Representative

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Ritsu
Nacken
Representative

Since the establishment of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 1969, the agency has been working with the Government of Sri Lanka to enable populations, with a focus on women and young people.

Delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled, UNFPA strives to ensure that people are aware of their sexual reproductive rights and choices.

As an advocacy agency, UNFPA supports the Government to advance policies that are backed by evidence and data, and works towards reducing inequalities and fostering a peaceful and inclusive society.

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Francoise
Jacob
Director and Representative

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Francoise
Jacob
Director and Representative

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world.

UNOPS has supported Sri Lanka’s development since 1998, expanding operations in 2005 to support the post-tsunami response and reconstruction process. Within the organisation’s mandate in project management, infrastructure and procurement, UNOPS implements customised socio-economic development projects that benefit vulnerable people and develop national capacities. Activities include provision of bridges, schools, hospitals, urban sewerage, drainage facilities, harbours and anchorages, and integrated waste management services. UNOPS works closely with Government counterparts and communities to ensure increased ownership and sustainability of projects.

Since 2013, UNOPS South Asia Operational Hub in Colombo has provided technical, operational and project management support to four other SAARC countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal.

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Sveva
Pettorino
Programme Officer

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Sveva
Pettorino
Programme Officer

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Active in Sri Lanka since 1974, UNV works to enable stakeholders to be agents of change in their communities through volunteerism.

After the 2004 tsunami, UNV supported the Government of Sri Lanka by mobilizing 104 United Nations Volunteers who played a crucial role in coordinating emergency relief and reconstruction initiatives. Recently, UNV, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Services, established the first National Volunteering Secretariat and, together with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, produced a research report to document the contribution of youth volunteers in the country.

UNV is currently prioritizing to strengthen the resilience of local communities through disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

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Idah
Pswarayi-Riddihough
Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives

World Bank (WB)

Idah
Pswarayi-Riddihough
Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives

The World Bank Group (WBG) has been a partner in Sri Lanka’s development for close to six decades. During that period, the country has moved from a low income country to join the ranks of middle-income countries. The WBG consists of five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) that are committed to achieving the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Three WBG institutions are active in Sri Lanka: IBRD, IDA and IFC. IBRD and IDA aim to reduce poverty by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees and non-lending instruments including analytical and advisory services. IBRD provides financing to middle-income and credit-worthy poorer countries, while IDA provides financing to the poorest countries at highly concessional or zero interest rates. Sri Lanka, with its lower middle-income country status, is an IBRD and IDA blend country.

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Brenda
Barton
Representative

World Food Programme (WFP)

Brenda
Barton
Representative

The World Food Programme (WFP) operations in Sri Lanka began in 1968, to help vulnerable people to overcome food and nutrition insecurity. Being the world’s largest organisation in fighting against hunger, WFP responded to the urgent needs of tsunami and victims of the conflict.

WFP currently supports: the School Meals Programme to address short term hunger of schoolchildren; initiatives to prevent stunting among children and pregnant/lactating women; investments in disaster preparedness; and climate change adaptation activities for improved livelihood/assets.

Sri Lanka committed to provide 50,000 metric tonnes of rice for WFP operations locally and internationally to address urgent food needs in crisis-affected countries.

The aim of WFP is to work with the Government to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition, to build resilience building to climate shocks, and to meet ZERO hunger.

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Dr Razia
Pendse
Representative

World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr Razia
Pendse
Representative

Sri Lanka became a Member State of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. The first office was established, however, in 1952 at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. Since then, WHO has partnered with the Sri Lankan Government for the betterment of health and well-being in this island nation.

WHO remains committed to play its role in taking the nation’s health to globally competitive levels. WHO will continue to support provision of universal health coverage to all population groups in the areas of: communicable diseases; non-communicable diseases; injuries and mental health; maternal, child and adolescent health; nutrition; health systems; emergency preparedness and response; and enhanced partnerships and resource mobilization for health.

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Xuejun
Jiang
Chief of Office for Asia and The Pacific
Sylvie
Betemps Cochin
Country Manager

International Trade Centre (ITC)

Xuejun
Jiang
Chief of Office for Asia and The Pacific
Sylvie
Betemps Cochin
Country Manager

The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the United Nations development agency fully dedicated to supporting the internationalization of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).

ITC enables SMEs in developing and transition economies to become more competitive and connect to international markets for trade and investment, thus raising incomes and creating job opportunities, especially for women, young people and poor communities. Established in 1964, ITC is the joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

ITC is coordinating the implementation of the EU – Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance Project aims to increase the trade competitiveness of Small and Medium Size Enterprises in regional and European markets.  The 4-year EU-funded project contributes to inclusive trade-led growth and regional integration.

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Mykola
Kurylchyk
Programme Management Officer

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Mykola
Kurylchyk
Programme Management Officer
  • International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna International Centre, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Vienna, Austria

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves as the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the field of nuclear energy.

The agency works closely with the Government of Sri Lanka to extend technical expertise and assistance with a number of on-going nation technical Cooperation (TC) projects. Through IAEA-supported projects, beneficial nuclear technologies contribute to acheiving the national development goals in Sri Lanka.

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International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

In 1978, shortly after the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was established, the agency provided its first loan for the Kirindi Oya Irrigation and Settlement Project. About 37 years later, IFAD continues to play a strategic role in supporting the Government of Sri Lanka to reduce rural poverty and invest in rural areas in the country. IFAD’s investment in Sri Lanka so far has been approximately $400 million over 16 projects directly benefitting 525,000 households of rural poor.

IFAD’s project approaches have evolved overtime beginning with investments in integrated rural development to collaborative approaches involving NGOs, community organizations and the private sector in project planning and implementation and finally to investments focused on the commercialization of agriculture and the value chain approach.

IFAD has concentrated on three geographic zones: the dry zone in Northern and Eastern Provinces and plantation areas in the Central Province.

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Shigeru
Aoyagi
Regional Director for South Asia
Shailendra
Sigdel
Country Focal Point

United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Shigeru
Aoyagi
Regional Director for South Asia
Shailendra
Sigdel
Country Focal Point

The United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) New Delhi office was established in 1948, designated as a cluster office for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In November 1949, the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO was established, and in March 2010, a Country Focal Point Office for the UNESCO Cluster Office-Delhi was set up.

In Sri Lanka, UNESCO focuses on strengthening the quality of education through teacher development, which includes the setting up of the South Asian Centre for Teacher Development in Sri Lanka (UNESCO Category II Centre). Further initiatives include implementation of the action plans on the enhancement of education for peace and sustainable development, supporting world heritage sites management, protecting intangible cultural heritage, and providing research and monitoring bases for biodiversity and ecosystem services.

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Rebecca
Tavares
Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka
Ramaaya
Salgado
Country Focal Point

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN)

Rebecca
Tavares
Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka
Ramaaya
Salgado
Country Focal Point

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) works to strengthen women’s rights and equal participation in all aspects of life by working with women, men, the Government and civil society. The agency helps to create strategies to advance gender equality in line with national and international priorities.

UN Women’s Office in New Delhi – which covers India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka – established a country presence in Sri Lanka in 2014. UN Women Sri Lanka is currently focused on increasing women’s leadership and political participation; ending violence against women; engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes; enhancing women’s economic empowerment; and making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting.

UN Women works closely with the Government on inter-governmental processes, such as the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Commission on the Status of Women, to ensure that women and men become equal partners in development.

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Ayumi
Fujino
Head of the UNIDO Regional Office

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Ayumi
Fujino
Head of the UNIDO Regional Office

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) initiated its programme in Sri Lanka in 1969. The agency works for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, promoting poverty reduction through productive activities, trade capacity building and energy and environment.

UNIDO opened a Focal Point Office in 1999 with the objective to facilitate and coordinate an increased UNIDO portfolio in the country. UNIDO interventions have a long history of industrial sector-based value chain development and improved quality infrastructure of Sri Lankan goods and products for the export market. Cleaner production and resource efficiency are also major areas of focus where UNIDO works directly with industrial associations and private corporations. During the conflict in the North and the East, UNIDO provided extensive hands-on technical training and business development services to farmer associations and women’s groups in the Eastern Region to become market-oriented entrepreneurs.

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Sergey
Kapinos
Regional Representative

United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC)

Sergey
Kapinos
Regional Representative
  • UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, EP-16/17, Chandragupta Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, India

The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention, UNODC operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices.

In Sri Lanka, UNODC has been actively providing field-based technical assistance to enhance the capacity of the Government to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism since _____. UNODC has further worked to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions, assisting Sri Lanka in the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism.

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Sri
Widowati
Country Director

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Sri
Widowati
Country Director

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) aims for an Asia and Pacific free from poverty. In partnership with member governments, independent specialists and other financial institutions, ADB is focused on delivering projects in developing member countries that create economic and development impact.

Since 1966, ADB has worked closely with the Government of Sri Lanka, supporting the nation to undertake various projects in infrastructure, education, agriculture and finance sectors which have been in keeping with the development policies of the respective governments. These interventions contributed immensely to the country’s development of reaching middle income status.

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