Press Release

UN Continues to Support Flood-stricken People in Sri Lanka

18 Jan 2011

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The United Nations continues to support the Government of Sri Lanka to help over a million flood-affected people. In recent days, the north-east monsoon had caused severe flooding in the eastern, central and northern parts of the country.

More than 350,000 people in 11 districts are displaced across hundreds of temporary relocation centres, with thousands of houses destroyed in full or part. The waters have damaged over 200,000 acres of agricultural lands.

“Our UN team is geared up to support the Sri Lankan government to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs,” says Neil Buhne, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. “We will make every effort to mobilize resources to support the people of Sri Lanka.”

An emergency Flash Appeal will be launched by the UN  to seek millions of dollars to meet life-saving needs. Priority needs include mosquito nets, clean water and food.”In the longer term, more support will be needed to replant inundated fields and boost lost livestock.

Amidst access limitations, WFP has distributed 145 MT of food to support 170,000 people in Batticaloa. UNICEF will purify two million litres of water, and has released water tanks, tarpaulins, bleaching powder, sleeping mats, buckets, soap and cooking pots as immediate relief for thousands.

WHO is utilizing US$ 13,500 to fund mobile medical clinic operations, and IOM is aiding the Health Ministry to ensure 24-hour emergency referral services, for the transport of health staff to affected areas and for logistical support to district-level authorities to carry out public health programmes.

UNFPA provided 2,900 maternity kits worth $95,000 to safeguard the hygiene of mothers and newborns, and over 10,000 hygiene packs consisting of sanitary towels and other toiletries to maintain the basic personal hygiene of women and girls of reproductive age.

For more information, please contact:
Carrie Howard, tel. +94 11 2580691 ext 414,
Mohan Samaranayake, tel. +94 11 2580791 ext 207,
Lankani Sikurajapathy, tel. +94 11 2580840,


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