12 December 2019: Plan International is ceasing its operations in Sri Lanka after nearly four decades of implementing development programmes in the country and supporting hundreds of thousands of children.
The organisation’s exit is based on the significant growth in Sri Lanka’s economy and a marked improvement in its Human Development Index ranking. The Index takes into account life expectancy and education among a number of human development indicators and currently places Sri Lanka at 71 out of 189 countries.
Plan International’s global strategy – 100 Million Reasons – mandates that we focus our efforts and resources to reach communities in desperate need and improve the lives of the most vulnerable children worldwide. To achieve this ambition, we periodically review our operations in the countries we are active to ensure we are delivering our mission and making the best use of our resources to create a global impact.
Recognising the major advances achieved in Sri Lanka in recent years, including the increased protection of child rights and improvements in support systems, we have made the decision to conclude our programmes in the country. The move will allow the organisation to redirect its resources to countries where the urgency and level of need is currently far greater.
Plan International has worked with communities, partners and government agencies in Sri Lanka since 1981. Over the last 38 years we have worked with hundreds of communities in five provinces and improved the lives of over 500,000 Sri Lankan girls and boys.
Our work promoted social cohesion, gender equality and diversity in marginalised communities, including those affected by conflict in the past. Our work also supported the most vulnerable children and young people, especially girls.
The key areas of our work included:
- Providing parents and caregivers with the knowledge and skills to support the full development of children under 5 years, including those with disabilities
- Helping vulnerable children, especially girls, go to school and get a quality education.
- Strengthening education governance and the existing national education system to ensure long-term change.
- Preventing violence, exploitation and supporting children who are survivors of abuse as well as improving systems and policies on child protection.
- Helping young people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to be socially active and earn a living.
We are enormously grateful to our staff, partners, donors, communities and children who have all been instrumental in the success of our life-changing programmes. We are proud of our achievement and sad to say goodbye to all who have played a part in this phenomenal journey over the last four decades.
The organisation is following appropriate procedures for closure of its operations, including adherence to Sri Lankan regulations and labour law requirements. We are also reaching out to our donors, sponsored children and their sponsors, as well as programme partners to inform them about the decision.