The United Nations on Friday launched an appeal to raise $51 million in emergency funds for the one million flood-affected people in central and eastern Sri Lanka.
The deputy United Nations humanitarian chief, Catherine Bragg, has also called for greater efforts to assist former internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka who have returned to their villages and are facing daunting challenges trying to rebuild their lives.
“Significant progress has been made in meeting the needs of the displaced and promoting return processes,” Bragg said.
“However, those who have been released [from camps] now face a daily struggle to rebuild their lives, and have to start from scratch,” said Ms. Bragg, who is also the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. “There is nothing left. They are going to need schools and teachers, hospitals and doctors, and basic social services,” she added
Bragg added that most of the returnees currently have limited access to basic services such as shelter, water, sanitation and health care. ``These communities remain extremely vulnerable and have critical humanitarian needs that we must address immediately,’’ she said.
Bragg travelled to Batticaloa in the flood-ravaged eastern province where she heard from local government and aid organizations about the extent of the damage, especially in the agricultural sector, which has lost an estimated 80 per cent of this season’s harvest in some areas.
She announced that a $6 million grant from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has been allocated to jumpstart key life-saving projects.