Saturday, August 16, 2008

Adequate food and other supplies reaching Wanni- ICRC and UN humanitarian agencies

Both the United Nation's Humanitarian Agency and the international Committee of Red Cross said they have had access to the internally displaced persons due to the war in Wanni ,Sri Lanka and supplied them with food and sanitation kits.

The UN humanitarian agency said, "- Adequate supplies are reaching new internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka's northern areas controlled by the Tamil Tigers, UN and humanitarian relief officials in the capital, Colombo. At least 12,000 families have fled the fighting in the last two months in the northern parts of Mannar District, southwestern areas of Kilinochchi District and Mulaitivu District, according to UN officials, and most are now in the outskirts of Kilinochchi town, under the control of the Tigers, 300km north of the capital."

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said food, shelter, sanitation and clean water remained urgent priorities. It said in its monthly bulletin for June-July released on 14 August that the situation needed to be continuously monitored but most of the displaced were accessible.

"Many people have received basic humanitarian relief but as the number of displaced persons increases, so do their needs," said Anthony Dalziel, the ICRC's deputy head of delegation in Sri Lanka .

The UN humanitarian agency quoted Thangamuthu Sathyamurthi, Director of Kilinochchi Hospital in Kilinochchi town, having said that so far enough supplies were getting through to the displaced. "None of the IDPs are cut off. They are all accessible." He said a stock of rice had arrived in Kilinochchi this week.

According to UN statistics at least 145,000 IDPs remain inside areas under the control of the LTTE in Sri Lanka 's north, referred to as the Vanni.

According to the ICRC, some of the recently displaced had fled fighting on several occasions in recent months.

UN and relief agencies had access to all but a small number of civilians who have remained in areas where the most recent fighting was taking place. However UN agencies expect more displacements if fighting continues. "Due to ongoing clashes more displacement is anticipated, and then more supplies will be needed," the agency said. They added that the overall IDP figure in the Wanni could rise to 200,000.

Most of the new IDPs are living in make-shift shelters. The authorities have asked for help to provide temporary shelters.

Sathyamurthi of Kilinochchi Hospital said IDPs living on open ground needed proper shelters before the rains arrive. "The situation will get worse when the rainy season starts by the end of September," he said.

Nagalingam Vedanayagam, the government agent for Kilinochchi District, has requested temporary shelter material for 12,000 families, the UN Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) reported in a situation report released on 11 August. It said he had received commitments for 2,000 families but warned that more displacements were likely in the coming weeks.

1 comment:

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