Sri Lanka 2011

CERF allocates $6.1 million in response to devastating floods in Sri Lanka

24 January 2011:  In response to devastating floods from the heaviest rains in the past one hundred years to hit the country, CERF has allocated $6.1 million for humanitarian response in Sri Lanka.

The World Food Programme (WFP) will use some $3 million to provide food assistance and aid early recovery in eastern provinces. Some $1.1 million has been allocated to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for construction and rehabilitation of water supply sources, and maternal, child and adolescent nutrition and health interventions. The International Organization of Migration (IOM) will receive $700,000 for the provision of non-food items, emergency medical referral care, and public health outreach activities. The United Nations Office for Project Services (OPS) will use some $600,000 to provide basic shelter for IDP families as well as water and sanitation facilities to prevent the spread of disease.  $500,000 will go to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for emergency agricultural assistance. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will receive $100,000 for life-saving reproductive health supplies. Finally, the World Health Organization (WHO) will use some $100,000 to conduct emergency health interventions in flood-affected areas.
 
Since 26 December 2010, torrential rain caused by the La Niña weather phenomenon has caused devastating floods and landslides in eastern and central districts affecting over one million people. As of 18 January 2011, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reported 43 deaths, 51 injuries, 4 missing persons and 360,000 displaced persons.
 
The floods have set back further rebuilding from the 2004 tsunami and decades of conflict that ended in May 2009. Many people had started moving into sustained livelihoods activities, including planting their own crops, however flooding either damaged or destroyed paddy crops that were almost due for harvest. Displacement and physical destruction of houses, livestock, and marketplaces are having a dramatic impact on households’ ability to generate food and income. The floods have also contaminated water supplies and damaged or destroyed infrastructure.
 
Although the floodwaters began to recede on 13 January 2011, challenges of food insecurity, water quality, and housing damage remain. The northeast monsoon season is expected to continue until February, raising concern for more heavy rains.

CERF allocates $5 million in response to devastating floods in Sri Lanka

3 March 2011: In response to humanitarian needs from the conflict period exacerbated by devastating floods, CERF has allocated $5 million for response in Sri Lanka.

The World Food Programme (WFP) will use some $2.9 million to provide food assistance for IDPs in camps and returnees. Some $900,000 has been allocated to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for urgent shelter needs and non-food items. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will receive $300,000 to provide shelter assistance for IDPs and transitional shelters for vulnerable returnee families. The International Organization of Migration (IOM) will receive some $300,000 for shelter assistance and emergency medical referral care in conflict-affected areas. Some $300,000 has been allocated to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for maternal and child nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene for IDPs. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will use $100,000 to provide emergency agricultural assistance to returning IDPs. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will receive some $100,000 for reproductive health services and psychosocial support. Finally, some $100,000 has been allocated to the World Health Organization (WHO) for strengthening of health services for returnees.
 
The recent floods have been a tremendous setback to early recovery in resettlement areas, and have exacerbated humanitarian needs from the decades of conflict that ended in 2009. Those returning to the former conflict zone have found rubble where homes once were and a destroyed economic framework.
 
According to the Disaster Management Centre, nearly 1.2 million people were affected by the February floods, with a significant portion caught in the waves. The majority of the conflict-affected population is dependent on farming, but just as farmers were getting a firm footing with new seedlings, tools and storage capacity, the floods caused widespread damage to crops, homes and facilities that were set up previously by humanitarian agencies.
 
The 18,000 displaced people in camps in northern Sri Lanka continue to be a major concern and priority for humanitarian assistance. Displaced people cannot return to their homes as the land is heavily mined, and there is an urgent need to provide basic food, water, maintenance of sanitation facilities, and repair of temporary shelters for the most vulnerable families.

CERF in Action - Rapid Response

Underfunded Emergencies