Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Sri Lanka: Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #2

by US Agency for International Development, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance & the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, September 30, 2008

In February 2008, OCHA released the 2008 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) for Sri Lanka, developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Country Team in consultation with the GOSL, donors, and other stakeholders. As of July 16, 2008, the CHAP appeal requested a total of $195.7 million for emergency relief, protection, and recovery activities.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

- On January 16, 2008, the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) formally withdrew from the 2002 ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), leading to the departure of the international Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission. Following military gains by the GOSL in the east, hostilities have shifted to the five northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, and Vavuniya.

- In September 2008, intensified fighting between the GOSL and the LTTE displaced more than 185,000 people in the northern districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu (also known as the Vanni), constituting more than 83 percent of the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the districts since September 2007, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

- Humanitarian access in northern Sri Lanka decreased significantly following a directive by the GOSL on September 5, 2008. U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) pulled all international staff members out of the Vanni and relocated operations to Vavuniya.

- IDPs in the Vanni lack access to humanitarian assistance, according to OCHA. As monsoon season approached in late September 2008, humanitarian agencies voiced concerns about IDPs' shelter needs.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE SOURCE
IDPs displaced from Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu in September 2008 185,810 OCHA — September 26, 2008
Total IDPs displaced from northern districts since September 2007 221,660 OCHA — September 26, 2008
IDPs in Trincomalee and Batticaloa as of August 2008 20,259 UNHCR(1) — August 31, 2008
IDPs displaced nationwide between April 2006 and August 2008(2) 247,862 UNHCR — August 31, 2008

HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED FOR THE COMPLEX EMERGENCY IN FY 2008

USAID/OFDA Assistance to Sri Lanka: $5,428,782
USAID/FFP(3) Assistance to Sri Lanka: $32,741,300
State/PRM(4) Assistance to Sri Lanka: $1,990,000
Total USAID and State Humanitarian Assistance to Sri Lanka: $40,160,082

BACKGROUND AND CURRENT SITUATION

- USAID/OFDA is continuing a funding mechanism through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to provide sub-grants to humanitarian aid organizations responding to the complex emergency.

- In February 2008, OCHA released the 2008 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) for Sri Lanka, developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Country Team in consultation with the GOSL, donors, and other stakeholders. As of July 16, 2008, the CHAP appeal requested a total of $195.7 million for emergency relief, protection, and recovery activities.

- In FY 2008, USAID/OFDA regional, Colombo-based, and Washington-based staff traveled to northern and eastern districts to assess the conditions of conflict-affected populations and monitor USAID/OFDA-funded humanitarian relief activities.

Full report here.

NB: Fact sheet #1 was released in May, 2008