About Us

Our Objectives

  • To identify low income families & implement relief programs for them.
  • To implement social security programs for beneficiaries with their contribution.
  • To provide facilities for the education of children of Samurdhi recipient families.
  • To improve nutrition level of mothers of recipient families.
Our History

The Poor Relief Programme of the Government originated as a project functioning under the Department of Social Services under the provisions of the Poor Relief Act No.32 of 1985 with the objective of implementing various relief programmes which would assist low-income families in society to maintain a minimum standard of living, and subsequently from the year 1986, the Poor relief Food Stamps Programme was implemented.

In 1992, the Poor Relief Project was transformed as a Department functioning under the Ministry of Social Services. The striking change that took place subsequently was the re-structuring of the Poor Relief Food Stamps Programme as “ The Samurdhi Subsidy Programme. ” This re-structured programme was thereafter implemented by the Department of Poor Relief which was placed under the than Ministry of Samurdhi, Rural Development and Youth Affairs in August 1995.

The Samurdhi Subsidy Programme which thus came into being, has of the following main functions, namely, getting the Samurdhi Allowance Cards printed, issuing the Allowance Cards so printed to Samurdhi beneficiaries through Divisional Secretariats and procuring the financial provisions necessary for the benefits granted through such Allowance Cards, namely, Relief Stamps, Compulsory Savings, the Samurdhi Social Security Fund and the Samurdhi Housing Lottery Fund.

In addition to these functions, the Special Nutrition Stamps Programme is also being implemented with a view to enhancing the nutrition level of mothers of new born babies of Samurdhi recipient families and their babies and also such mothers and infants of families in the waiting lists for Samurdhi Relief. The Programme also aims at making the people aware of this need for mothers and their infants. Hence, in order to implement these Programmes during the Year 2003, a sum of Rs 8,756,045,870.99 has been expended for the Samurdhi Subsidy Programme and a further sum of Rs 118,225,000.08 has been expended for the Special Nutrition Allowance Programme respectively.

Along with the Samurdhi Subsidy Programme, the Department of Poor Relief has also carried out a pioneer effort in the field of social development as well. Among these activities, the promotion of the Pre Childhood Development Programme and the Psychological Counseling Service at village level are of special significance. The Department of Poor Relief has also introduced a regular counseling service for the first time for inmates of Prisons.

In year 2004, The Department which was in the section "B" of the forth floor of the "Sethsiripaya" was merged with the Department of the Poor Relief which was in No. 17 of Barnes Place and now it has established at the very same place in Barnes Place as the Department of the Commissioner General of Samurdhi