Friday, 14 January 2011

The Red Cross warns of a possible food crisis in Sri Lanka

An elderly woman, one of over 1 million flood affected people, arrives at a school in Pollonuwaran cold and tired  where the Red Cross provide food, clean water and blankets. .

500,000 CHF appeal launched to support on going floods emergency

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) call on the authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure food security for the flood affected communities in the country.

“With the intertwining elements the coldest temperatures in 61 year, and at least 21 % of paddy rice destroyed by the floods, we could have a grave food shortage very soon.” said Bob McKerrow, Head of IFRC Delegation in Sri Lanka.

The concerns raised by the IFRC come in the wake of a 500,000 CHF (513,000 USD) appeal, launched by the Federation and the National Society, to support the relief and rescue operations in the country. The appeal will also sustain the restoration of livelihoods, raise awareness on water related diseases; secure safe drinking water; guarantee adequate sanitation as well as hygiene promotion for the affected families.

Families are desperate to find some form of shelter when their houses are either washed away or flooded. Families seeking shelter in a public building in Ampara.

Over a million of people have been affected by floods and landslides in various parts of Sri Lanka. Currently relief operations are being carried out by volunteers and members of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SRLCS) with the support of the IFRC and Partner National Societies in 13 districts of the country.

Patients being transported to hospital by Sri Lanka Red Cross rescue/first aid teams.

“The devastation in these parts of the country is immense. There’s a need for more food parcels; hygiene kits; kitchen kits; mosquito nets; blankets and water purification tablets at the moment.” said, Jagath Abeysinghe, President of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRS).
“I know we will get through this devastation, but what concerns us the most is what happens after. That’s why we are more concern about a possible food shortage and health issues that could rise in the aftermath of the floods. We need to prepare for that. We can assure the government and the authorities that the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society is ready to help in whatever situation that would arise” he added.

Red Cross voluneers work through the night using tractors to rescue stranded people by in BatticolaPhotographs of three of the worst affected districts and Red Cross action supplied by Sri Lanka Red Cross, below:

Pollonnaruwa District


A woman, desperate, but happy to receive Red Cross relief supplies.



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