Last updated: 18/4/2024

Basic Information

Country
Geographic area
Population group
Elderly persons, Persons with disabilities, Poor households

Programme Details

Programme objectives

The Aswesuma Welfare Benefit programme was introduced by the Sri Lankan government as a successor to the Samurdi Programme. The Aswesuma programme was established to ensure more effective and inclusive support for vulnerable populations. Its primary objective is to provide financial aid to deserving individuals and families facing economic hardships.
 

References
Right to Life Human Rights Centre. 2023. The Effectiveness of Aswesuma Welfare Benefit Scheme Preliminary Findings and Ongoing Assessments. Accessible at: https://www.right2lifelanka.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Aswesuma.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Start date
2023
References
Right to Life Human Rights Centre. 2023. The Effectiveness of Aswesuma Welfare Benefit Scheme Preliminary Findings and Ongoing Assessments. Accessible at: https://www.right2lifelanka.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Aswesuma.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Coverage
1894140 (2024)
References
Welfare Benefit Board. n.d. Home. Accessible at https://wbb.gov.lk/en/home. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Programme expenditure
Rs. 204 billion (2024)
References
Navaratnarajan. M. 2024. Social welfare: ‘Aswesuma’ and poverty alleviation. The Morning. Accessible at: https://www.themorning.lk/articles/1Ut9hgxCuPkogQUBx9ab. Accessed on 18 April 2024

Targeting and eligiblity

Targeting methods
Proxy Means Test
Categorical Targeting
Self-Targeting
References
PERERA. I. 2023. Aswesuma: High Exclusion, Low Transparency? Ground Views. Accessible at https://groundviews.org/2023/12/04/aswesuma-high-exclusion-low-transparency/. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Targeted areas
Nationwide
References
Gazette No. 2328/13. 21 April 2023. Accessible at: https://wbb.gov.lk/backend/assets/publications/2328-13_E.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Target groups
Poor and vulnerable, elderly, and poeple with disabilities
References
Gazette No. 2328/13. 21 April 2023. Accessible at: https://wbb.gov.lk/backend/assets/publications/2328-13_E.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Eligibility criteria
Aswesuma employs six criteria measured by 22 indicators to determine if a household is non-poor or poor and deserving of assistance. Accordingly, eligible families receive assistance under four social groups: Transitional, Vulnerable, Poor, and Severely poor.
References
Wanigasinghe, L. 2023. Revamping welfare: Is Aswesuma the salvation SL’s poor hoped for? The Morning. Accessible at: https://www.themorning.lk/articles/MUukQgtGAsZNI4tOc6LV. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Eligibility reassessment (if any)
After a year eligibility for people with disability and people receiving renal support and elderly support will be reassessed.
References
Gazette No. 2328/13. 21 April 2023. Accessible at: https://wbb.gov.lk/backend/assets/publications/2328-13_E.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024

Coverage and other information

Type of benefits
Cash
References
Gazette No. 2328/13. 21 April 2023. Accessible at: https://wbb.gov.lk/backend/assets/publications/2328-13_E.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Amount of benefits
(A) (i) Transitional 2,500 Rs for 6 months, (ii) Vulnerable: 5,000 Rs for 9 months, (iii) Poor: 8,500 Rs for 3 years, (iv) and Severely poor: 15,000 Rs for 3 years. * In a case where the number of members in a family unit is two or less than two members, only a half of the above allowance shall be paid. (B) Additionally, there are payments (top-ups) for differently-abled persons, chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu), elderly beneficiaries: (i) Persons with disabilities receiving support 5,000 Rs, (ii) People receiving renal support: 5,000 Rs, (iii) people receiving Elderly support: 2,000 Rs
References
Gazette No. 2328/13. 21 April 2023. Accessible at: https://wbb.gov.lk/backend/assets/publications/2328-13_E.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Payment/delivery frequency
Monthly
References
Gazette No. 2328/13. 21 April 2023. Accessible at: https://wbb.gov.lk/backend/assets/publications/2328-13_E.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Minimum and maximum duration of benefits (if any)
(i) Transitional for 6 months, (ii) Vulnerable: for 9 months, (iii) Poor: for 3 years, (iv) and Severely poor: for 3 years
References
Gazette No. 2328/13. 21 April 2023. Accessible at: https://wbb.gov.lk/backend/assets/publications/2328-13_E.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024
Legal Framework
Welfare Benefits Act No. 24 of 2002, reinstated in February 2016
References
Right to Life Human Rights Centre. 2023. The EffecƟveness of Aswesuma Welfare Benefit Scheme Preliminary Findings and Ongoing Assessments. Accessible at: https://www.right2lifelanka.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Aswesuma.pdf. Accessed on 18 April 2024