CRS Funds Crisis Response in Sri Lanka

Wounded boy

A man sits beside his wounded child at a hospital in the eastern port of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. The child was one of 260 sick and wounded people being ferried out of a makeshift hospital in Sri Lanka’s northern war zone. Photo by Reuters/Stringer, courtesy www.alertnet.org

As world attention turns again to violence in Sri Lanka, hundreds of thousands of civilians remain displaced in the island nation. Of these, an estimated 200,000 are still trapped in a battle zone without sufficient food, water or medical care. Tens of thousands of people who recently left the area have arrived in camps with only the clothes on their backs; many thousands are in need of urgent medical treatment including operations for severe wounds.

Church workers are responding heroically to the crisis, providing relief items and running mobile clinics. With funding from CRS, parish volunteers are giving cooked meals to new arrivals and distributing non-food items including pots, skillets and coconut scrapers (essential in a region where coconut is a staple of the diet). CRS is also supporting partners that provide education for the displaced children.

Displaced Sri Lankans are facing this manmade disaster in the wake of a natural catastrophe: many of those fleeing the recent conflict are also survivors of the 2004 tsunami.

– Laura Sheahen, CRS regional information officer

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