UN sends food aid for Lankan war displaced | world | Hindustan Times
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UN sends food aid for Lankan war displaced

world Updated: Apr 03, 2009 10:59 IST

The UN World Food Programme has dispatched 1,000 metric tons of critically-needed food assistance to a designated “safe zone” in the embattled north-eastern Sri Lanka, where more than 100,000 people have been displaced due to fighting.The items were sent aboard a ship chartered by the Government of Sri Lanka, sailing under the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross, WFP said.

The food aid would be sufficient to feed approximately 100,000 people for 20 days, the agency said.According to the UN, the area of fighting between Government forces and the rebel LTTE has shrank from 300 square kms to nearly 58 square kms in February, with many civilians the world body believes between 150,000 and 190,000 sheltering in a 14-square km “no-fire” zone in the northern Vanni region.Since road convoys to the Vanni region were discontinued in late January because of security concerns, WFP has dispatched nearly 2,220 metric tons of food aid using the sea route.

Overall, the agency is providing food to 1.2 million people through emergency feeding and recovery programmes.
UN humanitarian chief John Holmes had characterized the situation in the north as “extremely worrying,” citing ongoing forced recruitment within the combat zone, and civilians not being allowed by the LTTE to leave the area.