SRI LANKA Response to deadly floods

 Sri Lanka
 Emergency Response
 13th Jan 2011

Colombo, Sri Lanka (January 13, 2011) – CARE has provided urgently needed food and emergency supplies to 6,000 people in flood-ravaged Sri Lanka and we are rapidly scaling up our response. Torrential rains have lashed the central and eastern parts of the country, causing severe flooding and deadly landslides. At least 23 people have died and more one million people have been affected.

CARE is distributing food and emergency supplies to the most vulnerable flood-affected families in the hard-hit areas of Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa, and Ampara. Emergency teams are rushing to procure more supplies to reach an additional 12,000 people, but stocks in the area are running out.

Batticaloa alone received a rainfall of 317mm, the highest recorded in 100 years. More than 300,000 people have fled their flooded homes and are taking shelter in emergency shelters, schools, temples and churches, desperately trying to stay above the rising water levels. The government has deployed emergency assistance and cancelled school for a week, as many school buildings are housing people displaced by the floods. Roads and bridges are washed out, and landslides across the country are hampering access to the affected areas.

“The impact of the floods is devastating. The aid workers who are handing out supplies have been affected as well, and many of our own staff have fled their homes,” said Michael Rewald, CARE Country Director in Sri Lanka. “Rice paddies and other crops have been completely washed away, which means the harvest for thousands of families has been totally destroyed. Half the rice crop is estimated to have been lost. This is going to make it extremely difficult for people to feed their families this year and will affect food supplies in the whole country.”

CARE is coordinating closely with the United Nations, other aid agencies and government agencies as part of the relief effort. CARE is appealing for additional funds as we work to scale up our relief response.

For more information about CARE's work in Sri Lanka, please click here.

Media contacts:
Michael Rewald, Country Director: mrewald@co.care.org, Mobile +94 773230659, Office +94 11 2662905

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Working side by side with poor people in 70 countries, CARE helps empower communities to address the greatest threats to their survival. Women are at the heart of CARE’s efforts to improve health, education and economic development because experience shows that a woman’s achievements yield dramatic benefits for her entire family. CARE is also committed to providing lifesaving assistance during times of crisis, and helping rebuild safer, stronger communities afterward. We advocate for policies that defend the dignity of all people and promote the eradication of poverty. CARE has worked in Sri Lanka since 1950.

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