More than 192,000 people have fled the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka with continuing clashes between the government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the United Nations says.
Although the number of registered internally displaced persons (IDPs) has increased, it is not due to new arrivals, and there are still no reports of more people in transit for days, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported (OCHA).
OCHA estimates that around 50,000 people remain trapped in the conflict zone, a shrinking pocket of land on the north-east coastline, and that they are in dire need of food aid and medical supplies.
The UN and the Sri Lanka government announced on Tuesday that they are seeking $ 50 million to address the urgent needs of up to 250,000 displaced persons over the next three months.
OCHA said yesterday that as a result of increased humanitarian needs due to the large-scale influx of IDPs from the conflict area and the continuing high level of needs of those still trapped in the area of fighting, the Country Team in Sri Lanka has re-prioritised its funding requirements.
It spells out the kind of funding urgently required to help IDPs currently accommodated in the country’s northern districts of Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee, and reiterates the need for continued assistance for those still in the conflict zone.
A 30 metric ton food consignment is expected to be loaded aboard the International Red Cross boat that will sail to the conflict zone and deliver food to the civilian population still trapped there, OCHA reported.