United Nations World Food Programme announces Emergency Assistance to Sri Lanka for early recovery for the population affected by the flood in Eastern part of Sri Lanka
As a response to the requests made by the Government of Sri Lanka through Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome, the Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN World Food Programme (UNWFP) announced on 11th February 2011 that both organizations have jointly approved an emergency food assistance package for Sri Lanka under their Emergency Operation programme.
The torrential rains experienced across the country and much of eastern Sri Lanka in recent weeks have unleashed floodwaters affecting around one million people and prompting both UN Organizations to launch an immediate emergency operation to provide assistance to the people in worst-affected areas.
In direct response to the appeals of Sri Lanka government to the Sri Lanka foreign missions abroad, Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Rome Mr. Hemantha WARNAKULASURIYA approached both UN institutions and followed up the requests made by Sri Lanka for emergency assistance.
The package announced is targeted to distribute 11,950 tonnages of food items benefitting nearly 500,000 beneficiaries over a period of 06 month. The package is worth of US Dollars 8.9 Million, which is in addition to the immediate response emergency operation carried out by the WFP in end December 2010 in Sri Lanka under which nearly 420,000 beneficiaries in the main affected districts received nearly 100 metric tons of food.
The new package approved will cover the people in five of the most severely impacted districts in Sri Lanka, namely, Ampara, Batticalo, Trincomalee, Pollonarua and Anuradapura. All 500,000 beneficiaries will immediately receive food distribution ration for nearly three weeks in order to provide them with breathing space necessary to recover from the loss of livelihoods and assets. Subsequently, other measures, including Food-For-Assets (FFA) and extended FFA activities targeted at rebuilding and rehabilitating agricultural infrastructure etc., will be introduced.
The noteworthy aspect is that WFP operations are being conducted in close cooperation with government efforts to provide assistance to flood victims during post-disaster period. The latest package is offered as a direct consequence of both the need assessment carried out by the WFP at the ground level and the renewed requests made by the government of Sri Lanka for assistance.
Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome extends Sri Lanka's deep appreciation to Ms. Josette Sheeran, Director General of WFP and Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO for approving a substantial emergency relief package for Sri Lanka, which will no doubt make a significant impact in providing relief to those affected by the catastrophic floods in Sri Lanka.
Embassy of Sri Lanka