Needs of children are paramount as resources are stretched with influx of displacedColombo, Sri Lanka, April 20, 2009—
More than 25,000 civilians fled Sri Lanka’s war-torn north on Monday, seeking safety in temporary displacement camps, while international aid organization World Vision warned the need for medicine, food and shelter is growing.
“Tens of thousands of people have been flooding into government-controlled areas. We know from those who have fled earlier that these new waves of internally displaced survivors will be in great need, having been caught in the middle of a war zone for weeks,” said Suresh Bartlett, World Vision Lanka’s national director. “There is great need for medicines, food and shelter. Humanitarian agencies want to be ramping up their responses to help.”
Even as an end to Asia’s longest-running conflict seems to be nearing, the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians—especially children—will continue to require support.
Prior to Monday’s exodus, more than 65,000 people were already in camps in the Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya districts. The majority of these are housed in 16 camps in the Vavuniya district, and World Vision is currently working in all these sites.
In recent weeks, the aid agency has provided food packets to more than 25,000 internally displaced people and hospital care packs to 700 families. On a daily basis, World Vision is distributing nearly 70,000 liters of water across various camp locations.
World Vision has also set up tents to accommodate nursing mothers in every campsite across Vavuniya district, and is working to set up temporary learning spaces with activities for hundreds of war-affected children.
More funding is urgently needed to meet the growing needs of the displaced. World Vision is appealing for an additional $1.5 million to reach its target of 60,000 beneficiaries.
World Vision staff in north Sri Lanka are available for interviews. Contact Rachel Wolff at 253.394.2214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press