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Over 35,000 displaced Tamils still in camps

world Updated: Jul 28, 2010 23:41 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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More than 35,000 internally displaced Tamils continue to be in camps in northern Sri Lanka amid a cash crunch faced by a top aid agency for their welfare.

Latest government statistics have revealed that at least 35,333 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were still camps set up in early 2009 for those who crossed over to the government side as the civil war came to an end in May, 2009.

The government claimed to have settled 267,393 IDPs till last week. Critics have pointed out that most among the "resettled" IDPs have simply been released from the main camps to be moved to transit camps or temporary accommodations; some have even set up their own tents at their own places of origin. And rehabilitation is still a long way off.

Amid all this, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCCS) have announced that it is running hugely short of funds to take care of 5,000 displaced families under its care.

An emergency appeal was launched in April seeking $3.4 million in cash, kind, or services to support the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) as it assists approximately 5,000 families (25,000 people) for 24 months.

"With contributions received to date, including pledges in the pipeline, the appeal is about 40 per cent covered. Funds are urgently needed to enable SLRCS to provide much needed assistance to those displaced by years of conflict," a statement from its office said.

The government and humanitarian actors estimate that the total number of houses in need of rebuilding and reconstruction is around 260,000.