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Lutheren World Relief to help IDP’s in Sri Lanka

By Walter Jayawardhana

LUTHEREN WORLD RELIEF TO HELP INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE IN SRI LANKA

The Baltimore based Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has announced it will be providing assistance to more than 13,000 families affected by the escalation of a two-decade old armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

It said allied with Action by Churches together (ACT) International it would provide relief for at least three months for the to those people who fled the war in Sri Lanka.

“Since early 2006, more than 3,000 people have been killed and 200,000 have fled their homes due to fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil, who seek an independent political state. Roadside blasts, suicide bombings, and land and sea battles have killed thousands of civilians as well as combatants and military personnel, despite a 2002 cease-fire and calls from the international community to end the violence, the organization said in a statement.

The limited food supply in the areas most affected by the conflict has caused many problems for the internally displaced, as well as for the rest of the communities living in those areas. Medicines are also scarce and the prices of the few available items have escalated beyond the reach of most people, the LWR said.

LWR is responding to the situation through Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, a global alliance of churches and related agencies that assists in disaster response worldwide. ACT members in Sri Lanka will provide emergency relief for at least three months to people and communities who have had to flee the fighting and are homeless, the statement further said.

The emergency response will provide food and non-food items, water and sanitation, medicines and some livelihood support to people currently living with host families or in camps and welfare centers. Support will be offered to children through team visits, games and toys. For those who have resettled in a town called Allipidy, a revolving micro-credit scheme will help them restart their livelihoods.

Their statement said, “Despite calls for a negotiated political settlement to the conflict by the president of Sri Lanka, there are many uncertainties. ACT members in the region are preparing for the possibility of a rehabilitation effort, as well as an extended emergency response should fighting continue”.

“Lutheran World Relief has remained faithful in its support of the people of Sri Lanka since the 2004 tsunami,” said Jeff Whisenant, LWR’s acting president. “We will continue to work with communities in the region to see that they are able to.

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April 10, 2007 - Posted by | International News

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