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UN official calls on donors to ‘stay the course’ to help displaced

by UN News Centre

The top United Nations humanitarian official in Sri Lanka is appealing to the international community to “stay the course” in helping displaced persons return to their former communities in the wake of last year’s end to the country’s protracted civil war.

Neil Buhne, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, warned in a briefing to international donors that “the job is not yet done,” his office reported yesterday.

“It is still a critical period and we ask for your continued support to meet the remaining crucial needs,” he said, adding that “the welfare of the returned people is an important element in reconciliation and, ultimately, sustainable peace and development.”

About 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their villages in the north of the island since late last year. But about 70,000 others are estimated to still be displaced or in transit sites near their home areas, and another 35,000 are in emergency sites.

Government forces declared victory over the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May last year after a conflict that had raged on and off for a quarter of a century. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were left displaced by the fighting.

This year UN humanitarian agencies have helped to provide more than 30,000 tons of food to nearly 750,000 Sri Lankans in need and distributed poultry, seeds, water pumps and crop sprayers to thousands of households.

At least 300,000 people have also received access to clean drinking water and decent sanitation facilities.

But Mr. Buhne said that while much progress had been made, there were still shortfalls in many areas, including basic infrastructure, agriculture and health.

“Difficult, hard and urgent work was done. Lives were saved and people helped to get back their strength to rebuild lives… However, as all of us know – there is much more to be done – recently returned people are still vulnerable.”

1 Comments

The UN like a good christian organisation is sincere in it's attempts to help the displaced and the poor of Sorry Lanka but if these funds are given to the racist government where will it end as a few days ago I read a news wire which stated that the government of Sorry Lanka was insisting that the UN should channel their funds through them.

What will happen to these funds will be another tale of woe similar to the tsunami funding and the numerous other projects which have been lined inside the pockets of the corrupt mainly from the Sinhalese community.

Let sanity prevail, the UN should become wiser even at this late stage. a j.

Posted by: anthony jones | August 27, 2010 08:29 AM

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