May 12, 2009 14:44 ET

UNICEF: A Catastrophe for Sri Lanka's Children

KATHMANDU, NEPAL--(Marketwire - May 12, 2009) - With more children killed and injured in the past 48 hours, UNICEF today denounced the disastrous impact of the conflict in Sri Lanka on children.

"With an estimated 50,000 civilians trapped in a tiny space of just a few square kilometers we fear many more children will be killed if the current Government offensive continues and if the LTTE refuses to allow civilians to leave the conflict zone," said UNICEF's Regional Director for South Asia, Daniel Toole.

Thousands of civilians including many children have been killed or injured in this conflict since the beginning of the year.

"The UN Secretary General has made it clear that the world is watching this crisis closely. This latest surge in fighting is a catastrophe for children and shows a complete disregard for these most vulnerable of civilians," said Toole.

UNICEF again called on the Government of Sri Lanka to show maximum restraint in its military actions to ensure protection of civilians, and on the LTTE to immediately allow civilians to leave the fierce fighting.

UNICEF also expressed its alarm at the dire living conditions within the conflict zone where a critical lack of medicines, food and clean water are adding to the suffering of those trapped.

Contact Information

  • UNICEF Sri Lanka
    James Elder
    Communication Chief
    Mobile: 94-777416742
    Office: 94-11-2555270 ext 250
    UNICEF South Asia
    Sarah Crowe
    Regional Chief of Communications
    Mobile: +91 9910532314
    Office: +91 1124606247
    UNICEF New York
    Patrick McCormick
    Emergencies Media Officer
    + 212 326 7426