Sri Lanka is a middle income country. DFID’s bilateral programme in the country closed in 2006 when Sri Lanka graduated to middle income status. However, DFID still contributes to Sri Lanka through the Conflict Prevention Fund (£2 million in 2010/11). Long running civil war has been a major cause of poverty and inequality in Sri Lanka. In May 2009, the 26 year long conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) came to an end following the defeat of the LTTE. The challenge ahead is to prevent a return to conflict and encourage equitable development in the north. In response to needs on the ground, DFID has committed £13.5 million of humanitarian funding to Sri Lanka since September 2008. The end of the conflict in May 2009 created almost 280,00 internally displaced people (IDPs). The majority of these remained detained in camps in the north of Sri Lanka until October 2009 when the Government started a ‘crash’ returns programme to return them to their homes.
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