18 January, 2010
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) handed over emergency relief supplies such as tents and sleeping mats, worth some 26 million Sri Lankan Rupees (20 million Japanese Yen), to the Minister of Disaster Management, Honourable Mahinda Amaraweera, yesterday (17.01.2011). The emergency relief supplies will meet urgent humanitarian needs of displaced communities in districts worst affected by recent floods.
JICA's assistance to these communities follows a request made by the Sri Lankan Government and is funded under its Disaster Relief Program. Under this program JICA has dispatched Japanese disaster relief teams and provided emergency relief supplies, mainly to developing countries, during major disasters since the 1970s.
According to official figures over 1,000,000 persons are affected by recent severe floods and heavy rainfall mainly in Ampara, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Batticaloa, Kandy, Kegalle, Mannar, Matale, Monaragala, Mullaitivu, Nuwara Eliya, Puttalam, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts while over 3,000 shelters are completely destroyed and some 170,000 uninhabitable. Thousands of acres of cultivated land and the fishing and livestock industries in these districts have also been affected.
"With this initial support to communities affected by recent floods JICA hopes to contribute to the swift implementation of relief operations at the disaster sites. JICA will also coordinate with relevant government authorities and humanitarian partners to assess future needs of these people who are now internally displaced and living in makeshift camps or sheltering with families and also of livelihoods on which the floods have had a major impact", says Mr Takuya Otsuka, Senior Representative, JICA Sri Lanka.
JICA has supported the Government of Sri Lanka since 2004 to expand and maintain the disaster management structure by strengthening organizations dealing with disaster management, providing equipment, dispatching Japanese experts, producing technical guidelines and through capacity building initiatives under several technical cooperation and grant aid projects.
Photos: H. E. Mr. Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan and Mr Takuya Otsuka, Senior Representative, JICA Sri Lanka hand over emergency relief supplies to Minister of Disaster Management Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera to meet humanitarian needs of flood-affected communities