9 July 2009
The Government of Sri Lanka and aid agencies have stepped up their efforts in the massive rebuilding process in northern Sri Lanka but fresh challenges continue to emerge.
Over 280,000 persons from the north are now housed in overcrowded displacement camps, posing a huge challenge to aid agencies already overstretched in their efforts to support basic needs. The daily cost of supporting people with food and water is rising due to scarcity of resources and funding remains a key issue for most aid agencies in order to continue operations in the camps.
Water availability has increased since a pipeline was laid from a nearby river to the main camps, however, pure drinking water still remains an issue and plans are underway to set up treatment plants in some of the camps.
Most of the camps now have postal, telecommunication and banking facilities and family visits are permitted but there are still restrictions on freedom of movement of those displaced within the camps.
World Vision is advocating for the return of the displaced as soon as possible, for special support for children addressing their physical, emotional and psychosocial needs and for trust building programs to bring fractured communities together.
World Vision is assisting those in the camps with water, food, shelter, non-food relief items as well as nutrition, education and psychosocial programs for children.
World Vision has trucked more than six million litres of water to the camps during the last two months, distributed over 120,000 packets of cooked food and 70 metric tonnes of complementary food to the communal kitchens.