SRI LANKA CARE provides assistance for the 2nd wave of people fleeing the former conflict zone

 Sri Lanka
 Emergency Response
 20th May 2009

SRI LANKA (May 20, 2009) – With the end of the war in northern Sri Lanka, a second wave of more than 80,000 people are fleeing the former conflict zone and are in desperate need of food, water and shelter. As people arrive by the thousands to the camps for displaced people in Vavuniya, CARE is working with the government, UN and other aid agencies to provide enough tents, emergency supplies and water.

With the new arrivals, the total number of people in the camps will eventually be nearly 280,000 people. People are arriving in the camps hungry and severely dehydrated after months in the conflict zone, and have nothing but the clothes on their backs.

CARE work crews are working around the clock building tents, latrines, water distribution stands, and providing water and emergency supplies to people in the camps. CARE has provided assistance for nearly 40,000 people so far. In the last week alone, CARE has erected 521 tents and installed 88 toilets and 21 water distribution points for the new arrivals in Zone 4 of the Menik Farm camp. In many cases there are two or three families per tent, as aid agencies and the government race to build more tents and shelters for the new arrivals.

Providing enough water for the people in the camps - the population of a small city - remains a challenge. CARE is trucking in water, and this week distributed 1,000 bottles of drinking water to orphans who recently arrived from the conflict zone.

Funding is urgently needed to improve the conditions in the camps and provide enough tents, water and supplies for the new arrivals. CARE is appealing for USD$9 million to scale up its immediate emergency response and to assist in the long-term recovery of rebuilding homes, livelihoods, infrastructure and social services.

CARE's response to date:

  • Shelter: CARE work crews have erected 1,328 tents and 674 emergency shelters, providing shelter for nearly 20,000 people. More tents are being built each day to accommodate the new arrivals.
  • Water and sanitation: CARE has so far built 252 latrines for 1,250 families. In coordination with UNICEF, CARE has installed 268 water distribution points to provide water for bathing and hand washing in the camps for nearly 6,000 people, and is providing nearly 76,000L of water per day.
  • Food and emergency supplies: CARE is providing hot meals and emergency supplies, including bed sheets and floor mats, mosquito nets, clothing, kitchen utensils, laundry basins and water storage containers.
  • Assistance for women and children: CARE has provided 556 infant kits for mothers with infants, including baby soap, powder, cream, lotion, diapers (nappies), towel, mosquito net, and mattress.
  • Hygiene activities: CARE is distributing hygiene kits and organizing health and hygiene awareness and environmental cleaning programs in coordination with the Ministry of Health to help prevent the outbreak of disease. Hygiene kits include soap, laundry soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo, sanitary napkins for women, and a razor.

To read the blog of CARE staff in Sri Lanka, please click here.

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