Press Release


The Humpty Dumpty Institute


Taiwan invests in Health and Education in Eastern and Northern Sri Lanka


November 18th, 2009

New York, NY: The Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan), through the Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI), officially launched a new Post Tsunami Assistance program in Sri Lanka to help families still feeling the effects of the disaster by providing education, medical and public health, and water and sanitation services. The December 2004 tsunami caused severe damage to health care and educational systems in the Eastern and Northern Provinces of Sri Lanka, and in particular among the coastal villages of Batticaloa and Jaffna Districts. Although it occurred almost 5 years ago, almost half of the villages in these districts have not yet regained their pre-tsunami access to education and health care. Ralph L. Cwerman, HDI’s President, said that “coupled with little or no access to medical and public health or educational facilities, the Sri Lankans who bear the brunt of these circumstances are those least able to fend for themselves. Children and mothers have been deprived of basic health care for too long and their overall development and well being is suffering as a result”. In addition, the conflict over the past year has further destabilized the region.

Through the generous support of the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan), with additional funding provided by the One Sri Lanka Foundation, and People to People International, HDI is managing a multi-year project to provide 10,000 children and mothers in 14 communities in Batticaloa and the Jaffna District, with pre post-natal medical care, vaccinations against serious diseases, and medical care for ear, nose, throat and eye disorders as well as psychological treatment for post-tsunami stress disorders.

In addition, educational programs and facility construction and rehabilitation are major components of the project. Training programs on basic hygiene and nutrition to mothers to educate them to utilize local foods to prepare balanced meals will also take place alongside non-formal literacy education activities for children. Construction of potable water systems, latrines and health clinics is another element of the project, replacing those destroyed in the disaster.

HDI, together with its partners, the Eastern Self-Reliant Community Awakening Organization (ESCO) and the Human Development Center (HUDEC) and local government officials, are committed to providing sustainable health and educational programs that empower the communities in which HDI is working. Cwerman added that “this program is another example of HDI’s innovative holistic approach toward development assistance.The generosity of the people of Taiwan will go far in helping the people of these communities help themselves”.


HDI is a US-based Institute that forges innovative public-private partnerships to find creative solutions to difficult humanitarian problems through a series of unique programs. Currently, HDI's mandate is to improve U.S.-U.N. relations, to remove landmines around the world, and to help alleviate domestic and international hunger. To learn more about HDI's international programs, please visit