WFP operational update: Sri Lanka

The total number of people newly displaced by the recent fighting between Sri Lankan government armed forces and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE – Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam) is estimated at 240,000 as of 4 September.

Following recent clashes between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka, WFP plans to provide basic food rations to all 240,000 people who have been driven from their homes by shelling, mortar attacks and random violence.

WFP will provide US$11 million food aid for newly displaced IDPs, plus a further US$2.6 million to improve the agency’s logistics operation and aid delivery.

Challenge

The agency has so far delivered 2,583 tons of food to those who have fled their homes following unrest dating back to May.

But reaching some groups is proving challenging due to IDPs being on the move, violence, the rains and restrictions on access in the LTTE-controlled north.

Clashes in eight of the 15 districts where WFP is operating are presenting the agency with severe problems in delivering food aid.

Stocks running low

A UN plane-load of supplies arrived in Jaffna on 4 September – the first one in a month - but there are concerns that food stocks are running low.

UN convoys have been allowed into the LTTE-controlled areas in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara districts over the past week and food and non-food convoys have been able to pass.

WFP’s school feeding was suspended in some schools in Batticaloa, Ampara and Jaffna due to access restrictions for the teachers and curfews.