International Red Cross to help flood-stricken Sri Lanka

Colombo, May 26 (IANS) The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Thursday launched an emergency appeal to deliver relief and recovery assistance to flood-stricken Sri Lanka.

The appeal worth about $3 million was launched in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS), Xinhua News Agency reported.

In a statement, the SLRCS said that since the onset of the flooding, up to 400 Sri Lanka Red Cross volunteers had been actively working in the five worst affected districts of the country, helping in search and rescue efforts as well as delivering aid and administering first aid and psychological support to flood victims.

“So far our services have reached 140,000 people. Our volunteers have played a critical role as first responders, warning communities to get to safety, helping to evacuate them and continuing to look after their welfare in temporary evacuation centres,” said Jagath Abeysinghe, president of the SLRCS.

At least 102 people were killed and more than 200,000 people were evacuated by the floods and landslides last week and although the floodwaters in most places were now subsiding, some parts of Gampaha and Colombo districts remain submerged and landslide warnings in place.

The appeal will ensure that people staying in temporary camps have access to safe water and sanitation and one thousand community wells are to be de-contaminated.

This will be complimented by health and hygiene awareness to prevent the spread of disease.

The appeal will also channel funds to community resilience projects whereby cash grants will be allocated to rural committees and schools to set up small projects including repair of damaged irrigation canals and renovation of infrastructure.

The IFRC appeal will enable the SLRCS to reach 40,000 people with aid over the next 18 months.



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