CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

August 07, 2009 10:15 ET

Canada Increases Humanitarian Aid to Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2009) - The Government of Canada is increasing its ongoing support to civilians displaced by the recent conflict in Sri Lanka, announced the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, after visiting Menik Farm in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka.

"Canada is deeply concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka," said Minister Oda. "During my visit to the displaced persons camp in Vayuniya, I witnessed the need of those who are living there. I am pleased that Canada is increasing its support to our partners in their work to provide basic humanitarian support to meet the needs of people affected by the conflict."

Minister Oda visited camps for internally displaced persons in Vavuniya and met with partners and senior Sri Lankan Ministers and officials during her three-day official visit to Sri Lanka.

Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, is increasing its contributions to recent United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross humanitarian appeals. Canada is also providing funds for the humanitarian activities of the World Food Programme, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNICEF, and Canadian non-governmental organizations, including CARE, Oxfam Canada and World Vision. Canada will contribute up to $15 million in humanitarian assistance for conflict-afflicted internally displaced persons, which is in addition to a contribution of $3 million announced on May 4 and $4.5 million announced on February 23, bringing Canada's total assistance to $22.5 million.

"The Government of Canada is proud to work with our trusted partners to answer the call for humanitarian assistance and support the safe and orderly resettlement of the internally displaced persons," added Minister Oda.

For more than two decades, a civil war raged in Sri Lanka between the Sinhalese-majority government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The recent conflict ended on May 17, after Sri Lankan troops seized the remaining LTTE-held coastal area. Approximately 300,000 internally displaced persons are now located in government-controlled camps and transit sites.

For more information on CIDA programming in Sri Lanka, please visit http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/srilanka-e


BACKGROUNDER

Canada Increases Humanitarian Aid To Sri Lanka

Canada's additionalhumanitarian assistance of up to $15 million for the approximately 300,000 internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka directly responds to the needs of a population in crisis.

The support will be used to provide necessary, ongoing food and medical assistance, shelter, protection, clean water, and sanitation services.

Initially, $7.5 million will be disbursed as follows:

- The World Food Programme will receive up to $3 million to provide food assistance to conflict-affected persons, including pregnant and lactating women, and children under five years of age;

- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will receive up to $1 million to continue providing emergency shelter, relief items, and protection services for internally displaced persons, returnees and other conflict-affected populations;

- The United Nations Children's Fund will receive up to $1.3 million to continue providing water and sanitation, nutrition, health care, education and protection services;

- Oxfam Canada, CARE, and World Vision will each receive up to $500,000 to provide emergency shelter, water and sanitation services, and relief items;

- The International Committee of the Red Cross will receive up to $500,000 to provide a variety of medical relief and protection services, and;

- The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will receive up to $200,000 to help ensure efficient coordination of the humanitarian response in Sri Lanka, including timely and essential interagency coordination, humanitarian mapping, and information sharing among all humanitarian partners.

This new funding is in addition to Canada's pledges of $3 million in May and $4.5 million in February, to respond to the humanitarian needs of the most affected in the recent conflict.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jean-Luc Benoit
    Director of Communications
    819-953-6238
    or
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534
    media@acdi-cida.gc.ca