Sri Lanka floods: President Maithripala Sirisena to convene international donor conference

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he will convene an international donor conference to coordinate assistance for rebuilding the island nation's flood-hit areas.

"We hope to be able to convene this international donor conference," Sirisena told a government conference on Monday night.

He said that all international aid pledged so far would be used to rebuild the homes destroyed in the recent landslides and floods triggered by monsoon rains.

"We will have all money received from international donors in one bank account and use. We will invite all donors to the conference," he said, without announcing dates for the conference.

This Sunday, May 28, 2017 handout photo released by Sri Lanka Air Force shows a road submerged in floodwaters in Sri Lanka. Helicopters searched for people still marooned after rain-triggered floods and mudslides inundated villages last Thursday, killing more than 150 and leaving at least 100 others missing, officials say. (Sri Lanka Air Force via AP)

File image of a road submerged in floodwaters in Sri Lanka. AP

Sri Lanka received support from several countries during the recent floods with immediate response and relief from India, China, Pakistan, the US, EU, Japan and Australia.

According to the Disaster Management Center, 2,545 houses have been fully damaged while more than 15,000 others have been partially damaged.

At least 212 died and 79 still missing in the country's worst torrential rains since 2003 that displaced nearly half a million people. More than 500 millimeters of rain devastated 14 of the 25 administrative districts.

There are 21,000 families housed in 202 welfare centers with nearly 700,000 people affected.

The Meteorological Department said that worst affected districts of Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle, Kegalle, Matara, Nuwara Eliya and Hambantota districts would see average rain fall during June. Yet landslide warnings will be in effect for all districts.

According to authorities, over 89,000 wells are contaminated. With close to 50 per cent of people using wells for their daily needs in the affected areas, access to clean water is urgently needed, the relief agencies said.

The UN Humanitarian Country team has launched an Emergency Response Plan with support from UN agencies, local and international NGOs, officials said.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it was preparing to assist 75,000 of the most vulnerable people in the hardest-hit flood areas for a two month period. This is in addition to 25,000 people who need assistance in drought affected areas.

The south of the island has experienced heavy rains with flooding, while drought conditions prevail in the north. The WFP is seeking an additional $2.6 million bringing the total funding required to assist those affected by the
drought and the floods to $5.7 million.

Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 14:28 PM

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