Canada and Sri Lanka launch skilled volunteer program to support economic and employment opportunities for women and youth

Colombo, March 3, 2016 – Ms. Susan Gregson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada and Mr. Priyantha Rathnayake, Director General, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, today signed a memorandum in favour of a Canadian Volunteer Cooperation Program in Sri Lanka. This five year program, called UNITERRA, will support the growth of market and employment opportunities of women and youth in the garment, tourism and hospitality sectors through the exchange of skilled volunteers.

The High Commissioner of Canada, Her Excellency Shelley Whiting expressed delight with the UNITERRA volunteer program in Sri Lanka, noting that “the program will foster closer relations between our two countries while contributing to sustainable economic growth in sectors of significant importance to the Sri Lankan economy." High Commissioner Whiting noted that "UNITERRA will bring valued technical assistance, create opportunities for enhanced cooperation and build lasting friendships between the Canadian and Sri Lankan participants.”

Funded by Global Affairs Canada, UNITERRA is a global volunteer program spanning 14 countries. UNITERRA is focused on improving socio-economic conditions by strengthening networks and organizations and pooling expertise and knowledge. The UNITERRA program is being implemented in Sri Lanka by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI).

For Further information, media representatives may contact:

Indirani Jayawardena
Political Officer
High Commission of Canada
33A, 5th Lane, Colombo 3

Tel: 522 6232  Ext: 3352,