Sri Lanka



Handicap International provides assistance to victims of armed conflict, promoting social inclusion, and developing partnerships at all levels to implement and support national disability policies. The organization employs 69 national staff and two expatriates to carry out its mission in Sri Lanka.


Handicap International has been working in Sri Lanka since 2004. The predicament of people with disabilities within Sri Lanka has been exacerbated by three decades of armed conflict. Following the Tsunami in 2004, Sri Lanka suffered extensive damage, both physically and socially. 


Physical Rehabilitation

This project aims to optimize the quality and access to physical rehabilitation services in Sri Lanka for vulnerable populations with injuries and disabilities. To date, Handicap International has fitted and provided  3,115 prosthetic and orthotic devices, conducted 2,291 physical therapy sessions, and provided 1,119 mobility devices. Handicap International works to provide those persons injured by landmines and other explosive remnants of war living in Kilinochchi district with access to rehabilitation services. The organization leads an awareness raising campaign to educate people with disabilities about the availability of services and provides necessary training and equipment to the Kilinochchi Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic. 

Socio-Economic Empowerment

Handicap International's project based in the east of Sri Lanka builds the capacities of vulnerable people and their families to develop sustainable revenue sources and helps them access services provided by economic development operators (banks, chambers of commerce, professional training centers, organizations, government programs). This project supports 32 economic-inclusion service providers, and bolsters personalized health and occupational opportunities for 500 people with disabilities and their families. 

Disaster Risk Reduction

Handicap International works to reduce the impact of natural disasters on populations living in disaster-prone areas in the north and east of Sri Lanka. In conjunction with ACTED, Oxfam, and Save the Children, Handicap International builds the preparation, risk reduction, and response capacities of 23 communities. Inclusive practices are used as models to improve state, district and national policies and practices. 

Database and Project Management

This regional project is implemented by Handicap International in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It is designed to improve the quality of project management through use of an open source software developed for French NGOs. 

Peace and Governance

Handicap International works to increase the participation of women with and without disabilities in peace processes and decision-making, in line with the national action plan for the protection and promotion of human rights (2011-2016) and Sri Lanka’s national peace and reconciliation process. This plan highlights the exclusion of people with disabilities and places women and children with disabilities as marginalized groups within a marginalized group.

Support to households affected by floods in Batticaloa, Kilinochi and Mullaitivu 

From November 13-15, 2015, a depression system formed to the northeast of Sri Lanka and brought heavy rainfall to the country, leading to several floods events which affected more than 38,000 people. A second depression system brought heavy rainfall to the east and north of the country on January 4, 2016, leading to several floods affecting more than 11,000 people. The highest impact of the floods was in Batticaloa district with 8,344 people affected. Monitoring of the situation and follow-up assessments after the initial rapid assessments demonstrate that the majority of people in the north and east of Sri Lanka have rapidly been able to cover their basic needs.



Handicap International's previous work in Sri Lanka includes:

Sports for All (2012)

In close collaboration with the local government in Vavuniya, this project enabled children and youth with disabilities play inclusive sports and participate in activities with their non-disabled peers. Five hundred children with disabilities and 1,500 children without disabilities  participated in this program. The project also increased disability awareness among community leaders, sports clubs, schools, business and disabled people’s organization (DPOs).

Steve Harknett, Project Manager for Handicap International in Vavuniya, wrote a blog for the Huffington Post about the project. You can read it here.