UN agencies provide additional assistance as further floods hit Sri Lanka

Families wade through floodwaters triggered by heavy rains in eastern Sri Lanka

4 February 2011 – United Nations agencies are providing additional support to the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to respond to fresh floods, amidst existing efforts to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by earlier flooding that followed unusually heavy rainfall during the past two months.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today said that Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC) had put the total number of people affected by the latest floods at 236,894. Five people have lost their lives and four are listed as missing.

Some 82,660 of those affected have been displaced and are sheltered in 322 temporary evacuation centres in 11 districts across the island nation.

Responding to a government request, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will provide 400 tents to be distributed through DMC. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has dispatched a total of 508 metric tons of food rations to the districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee. Earlier floods led to a steep rise in the prices of food, a factor that has made those affected even more vulnerable.

Sri Lanka’s agriculture ministry has requested the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) support for efforts to revive farming activities in about 75 per cent of the farmland where crops were destroyed by the floods. Seeds, equipment and other farming supplies are required.


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