Sri Lanka • Vanni Emergency Situation Report #1

Full Document

This report was issued by OCHA Headquarters. It covers the period from 24 to 27 April 2009. The next report will be issued on or around 28 April.

I. Highlights

-There has been an increase of some 40,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) over the past few days, bringing the total to over 150,000 IDPs in the IDP camps in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee. UN estimates that 50,000 people still trapped in the conflict zone.

-The United Nation Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), John Holmes, arrived in country on 26 April for a two day visit. On 27 April he visited Vavuniya, where he met with people in the Manic Farm camps (zones 2 and 3), as well as the Omanthai screening point.

-There are reports of overcrowding at some of the IDP sites, Manic Farms in particular. Communal cooking needs to be in place. Health facilities continue to be overwhelmed and more capacity is needed, including field hospitals. Water and sanitation in the camps is a serious concern and does not meet international standards.

-In the recent days, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has provided more resources, staff and equipment to assist the displaced in Vavuniya. The GoSL has appointed the Competent Authority (CA) to coordinate all administration and implementation of all relief work in relation to displaced civilians.

-ICRC is loading 30 ton ferry boats with food and hopes to deliver three shipments to the conflict zone from Trincomalee as soon as possible. ICRC also hopes to evacuate more civilians this week. No medical supplies have reached the conflict zone since early April.