Following the devastating floods and landslides which struck Sri Lanka over the last weeks, the European Commission gave €160 000 in humanitarian funding to bring emergency assistance to the communities affected by the recent floods. Some 17 500 people in the seven most affected districts of the country will benefit from aid. Priority will be given to those who have been displaced.
This EU funding supports the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society in delivering relief assistance to those families who are currently living in temporary shelters or evacuation centres. They will receive cash grants which will enable them to purchase essential households items. Priority will be given to access to clean water and sanitation, particularly through the cleaning of wells with contaminated water. First aid and medical services will also be provided, together with hygiene awareness sessions to avoid the spread of waterborne diseases.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors.
Since May 19, the southwest monsoon weather conditions have caused heavy rainfalls in the southwest parts of Sri Lanka, triggering floods and landslides in various locations. According to information released by the national disaster management centre, close to 175 000 people have been affected across 19 districts, and 26 people killed. Puttalam, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Colombo, Kurunegala, Kalutara, and Kegalle are amongst the worst-affected districts.