Aid and Humanitarian assistance getting through in Sri Lanka

(Caritas.org): Caritas is supporting 48,000 people who had been forced from their homes in Sri Lanka during fighting in the north of the country.

With the end of hostilities, Caritas Sri Lanka is able to provide food and other food items as well as counselling and medical support.

Conditions in the camps for the 280,000 people displaced by the conflict remain basic, with special concerns over poor sanitation and access to clean drinking water.

Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant mothers and children are a major concern.

Between the 24 and 27 May, 14 people over the age of 70 died in camps in one area, primarily due to lack of care and extreme heat. Latest reports indicate that releasing elders is to begin on 5 June. More than 2,500 applications have been approved.

Caritas Sri Lanka staff and community organisers are organizing the cooking and distribution of food to the camps. They have set up 12 community kitchens in camps in Chettikulam.

Community support has been remarkable with the active involvement of local parishes that have provided up to 10,000 food parcels a day.

Caritas Anuradhapura has provided basic hygiene items and clothes to over 1750 patients in 5 hospitals.

Caritas Mannar continues to provides 3,000 litres of water per day to supply communal kitchens with water. It provided 2,000 families with cooking utensils.

Caritas Trincomalee is purchasing other aid items for 1,700 families in Pulmudai camp. Caritas Kurunegala has made a request to provide hospital kits for 400 patients.

There are 80,000 children in the camps. Caritas Mannar has established a preschool in Zone 1 and 760 children aged 3-5 are benefiting. Caritas is providing the teachers, volunteers and play-materials.

For more information, please contact Patrick Nicholson on 0039 334 359 0700 or nicholson@caritas.va

Caritas press release republished in full.

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