UN issues Flash Appeal for flood-affected Sri Lanka

19 Jan 2011

New York - The United Nations and its partners are to appeal tomorrow for US$51 million to meet the urgent needs of more than one million in Sri Lanka affected by widespread flooding.

Torrential rain across the country’s eastern and central areas in the last week has caused more than 360,000 people to flee their homes and claimed 43 lives. Some 6,000 homes are totally destroyed and 23,000 are partially damaged.

The flood waters, which reached an almost 100-year high, are now receding. People are returning to their homes but 10,000 still remain in temporary relocation centers.

The majority of those affected in the eastern and northern districts derive their main source of livelihood from agriculture. This season’s paddy harvest is now severely damaged, resulting in increased food insecurity in some areas.

Most organizations warned that their resources to respond to the flood crisis were exhausted during relief efforts for flooding in December. The northeast monsoon season continues into February and further heavy rains could worsen the impact on the lives of already vulnerable people.

A flash appeal will be officially launched on 20 January in Colombo and will be revised within the next month to reflect needs as the situation evolves.