Fluctuating rains in Sri Lanka cause an “unpredictable situation”: OCHA

floods in Sri Lanka

floods in Sri Lanka


As flooding in Sri Lanka continues to worsen, the United Nations is looking towards donor states to continue giving. So far donors have given $8.4 million, but the UN says it needs at least $51 million to respond to the crisis. This is the second time in only a few weeks that floods have hit the country. Gerry Adams has more.

Duration: 2’34″


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Filed under UN Calling Asia.

Fluctuating rains in Sri Lanka cause an "unpredictable situation": OCHA

old man rescued in Sri Lanka floods

old man rescued in Sri Lanka floods

The international community is stepping up its response to the flooding in Sri Lanka after more than a million people were forced to flee their homes. This is the second time in only a few weeks that floods have hit the country. Gerry Adams reports:

Narrator: The floods have led to widespread destruction of rice paddy and other field crops; so far 14 deaths have been reported. Emilia Casella of the World Food Programme says WFP is scaling up its assistance to people affected by the emergency:

Casella 1: Now with this second wave over this past weekend, we’ve dispatched food assistance for 326 thousand people and we are continuing to step up. We’re going to be moving to 500 thousand people in this continuing emergency. But we’re looking at revising that. Assessments are going on right now.

Narrator: While agencies continue to support the government-led response to the floods, food, clean water, non-food items and basic common shelters are priorities for assistance to displaced persons in evacuation centres. The floods are having a long-term effect on Sri Lanka’s agriculture.

Casella 2: The Ministry of Agriculture had said that in January already, 450 thousand metric tons of rice paddy cultivation had been damaged. Now what we’re looking at is even more damage to the rice harvest. And this is of particular concern for the most vulnerable people.

Narrator: Emilia Casella says WFP has had to shift food designated for other purposes to emergency relief, putting a strain on the organization’s stocks:

Casella 3: Since the floods hit, the WFP has been using existing stocks that were for our existing programme to help returnees from the end of the conflict. So we’ve been having a programme to help people get back to their lives and livelihoods — about 200 thousand people following the end of the conflict. And the food that was destined for those people has now had to be put into place to respond to the needs of the people affected by the emergency flooding.

Narrator: Because of under-funding, the rations for the returnees had already been reduced:

Casella 4: So we’re in a bit of a precarious situation with that.

Narrator: The floods are also raising concerns about health, says Elizabeth Byers of OCHA:

Byers1: And there is …which have been recorded.

Narrator: OCHA says Extensive support to re-establish livelihoods and rebuild damaged houses will be required as the situation returns to normal.

duration: 2’34″


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