WFP Welcomes ECHO Support To Assist Flood-Affected Communities

Published on 16 February 2011

COLOMBO –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a 700,000 Euros, (approximately U$ 1 million) donation from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) to provide urgent food supplies to communities affected by recent monsoon floods.

Over the past month the floods have displaced tens of thousands of people, severely affected paddy cultivation and, in many areas, destroyed local vegetable crops resulting in crippling price hikes.

“This contribution from ECHO to WFP in Sri Lanka comes at a very critical juncture, allowing us to assist some 500,000 people hit hardest by the floods,” said WFP’s Country Representative in Sri Lanka, Adnan Khan. “The needs of the flood-affected communities are great and WFP still faces considerable shortfalls in our funding.”

“Before the floods, many conflict-affected families were attempting to resume agricultural activities after returning to their homes. Now they have been hit by another calamity and will need food and other humanitarian assistance in the months ahead if they are to fully rebuild their lives,” Khan said.   

The recent monsoon flooding has been on an unprecedented scale, and the Department of Meteorology is forecasting more heavy rains over the next few days in the northern, eastern and central parts of the island.

"This is the second deluge that many people have faced in the past two months and it may not be over yet," said Ambassador Bernard Savage, the European Union's Head of Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. "Europe's life-saving humanitarian assistance is crucial in the aftermath of such a disaster where thousands suffer the loss of life, homes and livelihoods," he added, referring to ECHO's two million Euro contribution to the relief operations of the wider humanitarian community.
WFP is working closely with the Sri Lankan government to access the flooded areas and deliver urgently required food supplies.

For further information:
Ilona Milner, WFP/Sri Lanka, Tel. + 94 11 4 740350/1/3, Cell+ 94 0 7731 71036
Sandali Wijayatilake, EU/ Sri Lanka Tel: + 94 11 2674413-4, Cell + 94 777866636
Malini Morzaria, ECHO / Regional, Cell: +91 987 139 6099