UN aid agencies bring relief to flood-hit northern Sri Lanka

28 November 2008

Three United Nations agencies are offering relief to tens of thousands of Sri Lankans who have been displaced from their homes after floods struck at least five districts in the north of the island nation this week.

Aid agencies held a coordination meeting in the town of Jaffna today to plan their response to the floods, which follow several days of heavy rains, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

Sufficient stocks of relief items, including food and shelter materials, are available across the Jaffna peninsula to help affected families for the next few days. The region is already affected by the conflict between Government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is coordinating the distribution of non-food relief items and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is providing dry rations at the request of local authorities. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is assisting with water and sanitation services.

OCHA reports that the floods are worst in five districts: Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu in Northern province, and Trincomalee in Eastern province. Three reservoirs are at risk of overflowing, and vehicle movements across the north are being obstructed by flood waters and bad road conditions, thus hampering the progress of humanitarian convoys.


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