EU is to help families in the east

Responding to the impact of the floods that hit various parts of Sri Lanka in late December, the European Commission is providing €238,000 (approx. 36,000,000 LKR) to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families in the Eastern part of the country.

Triggered by prolonged heavy rains related to the North-East monsoon, the flooding badly affected standing crops throughout the region, jeopardizing the food security of the local households.

The EU’s humanitarian assistance will directly benefit some 7200 people in the districts of Batticaloa and Ampara. This funding will mostly provide unconditional cash grants to the most vulnerable families, particularly agricultural workers who have lost their source of income, as well as those who are not physically able to work. In addition, farmers whose crops have been destroyed will also get seeds for the next sowing season, enabling them to plant again before the summer monsoon harvest.

The project is funded by the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission (ECHO) through its Small Scale Response mechanism and will be implemented by Handicap International, an international NGO which has a long established presence in Sri Lanka.

criminalIn the second half of December 2014, the North-East monsoon caused flooding, landslides and high winds across Sri Lanka, affecting 22 of the country’s 25 districts. Overall, an estimated 1,121,500 people were affected and 39 reported killed – mainly from landslides. The districts of Batticaloa and Ampara, on the East coast, were reported to be the worst impacted in the country.

ECHO’s Small Scale Response fund is a global mechanism which allows for a rapid funding of up to €300,000 for humanitarian aid in countries affected by natural and man-made disasters.

Since starting operations in Sri Lanka in 1994, the European Commission has provided over €166 million worth of humanitarian aid. (Colombo Gazette)