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USD 1 million needed daily for Sri Lanka’s displacement camps, says World Vision

[AlertNet, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 12:51 No Comment]

by World Vision – Asia Pacific

USD one million is required daily to provide food and water to almost 300,000 conflict survivors who are housed in a string of camp settlements in northern Sri Lanka, says World Vision.

"Funding is becoming a huge concern for aid agencies. Most have already used up a large chunk of their existing relief budgets responding to the crisis," said Suresh Bartlett, World Vision Lanka’s National Director.

The cost of providing essential food and water is around USD 3.50 per person per day. But this does not take into account the provision of shelter, medical care, or children’s schooling for those in the camps.

Aid agencies are stretched in their efforts to support some 288,000 displaced people – 90,000 of them children, who fled the conflict zone and are now accommodated in camps in the districts of Vavuniya, and Jaffna in the North and in Trincomalee in the East.

There is an urgent need for substantial funding from the international community in order to help the displaced rebuild the shattered lives of children and their families. However, the flow of funds has been disappointing.

As of last week the UN-driven 2009 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) for Sri Lanka was only 32% funded with USD 49.7 million received out of a total of USD 155 million requested.

"The International Donor Community should not let the politics of giving, or not giving to Sri Lanka, affect the flow of funding that is urgently needed to assist tens of thousands of children and their families. It is imperative that we start to rebuild the lives of those who have been ravaged by conflict and to meet the specific needs of children in particular," said Bartlett.

"Millions of dollars are needed to fund the return, recovery and rehabilitation phases. None of these programmes will be possible without the commitment of the international community to support recovery efforts," he added.

"This is a great opportunity for the international community to get involved, to help in the healing and reconciliation process to ensure Sri Lanka never again returns to the cycle of violence," said Bartlett.

The 26-year-long conflict between the Sri Lanka Government and the separatist LTTE ended on May 17th, with the capture of the last strip of coastland occupied by the LTTE in north east Sri Lanka and the deaths of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and other senior leaders.

World Vision is working with other aid agencies to support and care for the displaced persons in the camps. The organisation is providing shelter, food, water and family packs of essential items and is also engaged in supplying complementary food and in supplementary nutritional feeding programmes for children under five and nursing mothers.

World Vision continues to advocate for adherence to international standards in camp management and the speedy return of the displaced to their homes or locations of their choice.

Suresh Bartlett is available for interview from Sri Lanka. To arrange interviews, contact Dion Schoorman at +94773404236 or Dion_Schoorman@wvi.org.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian, relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. World Vision has been in Sri Lanka since 1977 and has invested more than USD 350 Million in development programmes in all districts of the country. For more information, please visit www.wvasiapacific.org

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