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Lanka Govt denies food shortage in relief camps

world Updated: Oct 11, 2009 20:28 IST
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Sri Lankan government has denied allegations by an opposition member on food scarcity in camps for displaced Tamils in two welfare villages in the north, saying the supplies were adequate.

Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said there was enough supplies in the welfare camps and that the Internally Displaced People at the Vavuniya and Chettiklulam welfare villages were not facing a food scarcity. Adequate quantities of dry rations and infant milk food are being distributed among the IDPs in addition to supplies from international agencies and NGOs, he said.

An opposition party member had alleged that the people in these relief camps were buying food items from traders at exorbitant prices, including infant milk food at Rs 2,000 per packet.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Vavuniya District Secretariat said that every member of an IDP family is issued 400 grams of rice or wheat flour per day in addition to sugar, lentils and vegetable oil.

About 4,000 packets of infant milk food were supplied a few days ago by a Colombo-based NGO, the spokesman said.

In addition to the number of IDP families being moved away from the welfare villages for resettlement.

He said over 8,000 applications have been received from relatives who are willing to accommodate IDPs in their households.

After the applications are processed and approved in the near future a considerable number of IDP families would be moved from the welfare villages, the spokesman said.

National Coordinator of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Division (DPRD) of the Health Ministry, Eeshara Kottegoda Vithana told the state run Sunday Observer that all contingency plans for the monsoonal rains are now in place to prevent any water-borne or vector-borne diseases spreading.