Sri Lanka Floods Flash Appeal 2011

18 January 2011

Duration: January to June 2011
Affected population
1,055,262 people, including: 10,600 children under five years; 527,631 women; 362,646 people in evacuation centres
Areas targeted
12 flood-affected districts
Key target beneficiaries
(approximate figures) 1,055,262 people, including:
• 500,000 for food
• 1,062,000 for WASH
• 1,062,000 for health & nutrition
• 751,200 for livelihoods
• 500,000 for NFIs
• 315,000 for education
• 298,000 for agriculture
• 73,500 for shelter

Funding requested per beneficiary: Approximately $48
Total funding requested: $50,623,333 

The heaviest rains in almost one hundred years hit Sri Lanka from 26 December 2010 onwards, causing devastating floods and landslides throughout the country.  The floods followed two cycles of flash flooding in the capital city of Colombo on 10 November and in the northern districts from late November onwards that put many of the conflict-affected returnees in serious difficulties.  This series of extensive and devastating floods, due to record rainfall levels since November, have cumulatively stretched coping strategies and available resources to the brink of exhaustion.   

At the height of the floods, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of the Ministry of Disaster Management reported that 1,055,262 people (283,667 families) were flood-affected, with 27 deaths and 12 people reported missing, as of 14 January 2011, and 362, 646 people displaced in some 630 temporary relocation centres in 12 districts.  Batticaloa reported the highest number of flood-affected displaced people (165,494) followed by Ampara (157,649).  From 13 January, the flood waters began to recede and people began to return home; however, the humanitarian needs remain due to damaged houses, crops and livelihoods. 

The eastern and northern districts have borne the brunt of the recent floods, with 94% of the affected  population located in the three eastern districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee.  Here, the floods damaged over 24,000 houses, and severely affected livelihoods and agricultural production resulting in heightened food insecurity.  For some of the people affected in the east, the floods were another setback after rebuilding their lives following the December 2004 Tsunami and/or after displacement from the conflict during 2006/2007.  

The DMC has coordinated the response to date, including the launch of extensive search and rescue operations, and the release of emergency relief stocks.  The Government has allocated over US$ 1 million for relief supplies since 11 December 2010.  With the extensive damage severely testing the capacities of many local and national response agencies, on 10 January 2011 the Government officially requested United Nations relief assistance in support of the Government’s efforts.  Based on needs assessments, the DMC and Humanitarian Country Team prioritized critical needs for food security, immediate agricultural and livelihood interventions, shelter and non-food items, health and nutrition, water-sanitation-hygiene, and education to meet the humanitarian needs in the flood and landslide-affected districts.

This Appeal seeks $51 million to enable international partners (nine United Nations organizations and IOM, 25 international and national non-governmental organizations) to support the Government in addressing the needs of more than one million flood-affected people over the next six months.  The Appeal will be revised within the next month to reflect needs as the situation evolves, and as the results of in-depth assessments become available. 

Document History

18 January 2011

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