Wednesday, October 6, 2010
10 million euros allocated to fund ECHO humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka
European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Emergency Preparedness has decided to provide humanitarian aid worth € 10 million for people displaced by the conflict that has raged in Sri LankaKristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, said that last year, the Commission allocated a total of €13 million to Sri Lanka. With this Decision, Europe is following through on its commitment to assist Sri Lanka people. Although improvements have been made in many areas, urgent needs remain and have to be addressed through adequate access for international aid. The new funding will provide assistance in the areas of shelter, food assistance, water and sanitation, as well as the financing of de-mining programmes. Particular focus will be placed on reaching the most vulnerable among the returnees, namely female-headed households, the disabled, the elderly and the children.
The longstanding conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) came to an end in May 2009. The return process of an estimated 300,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs), who had been displaced during the last spate of the conflict was accelerated in December 2009 and the majority of IDPs have been able to return to their places of origin. The return process is expected to continue for the remainder of 2010.
Since 2007, the Commission has allocated a total of €58 million in humanitarian funding to Sri Lanka, including today's allocation. All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Georgieva. The Commission-funded projects are implemented by non-governmental organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement in respect of international humanitarian principles. ECHO closely ensures that assistance is delivered in a coordinated fashion and closely monitors the use of the Commission's relief funds.
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