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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

INGOs, NGOs and the Government continuously feed the IDPs

Sunil C.Perera in Colombo

Colombo, 03 June, ( Despite allegations Dr.  Harsha Kumara NavaratneDr. Harsha Kumara Navaratneon food scarcity among the Internally Displaced Peoples in the north, the Government of Sri Lanka is working together with local and international NGOs to provide cooked food for the IDPs.

A number of local NGOs, like Sewalanka Foundation and Sarvodaya, and international NGOs, like ZOA, Forut, Norwegian Refugee Council, DRC, and others are feeding the IDPs daily.

Speaking to Asian Tribune, Chairman of the Sewalanka Foundation, Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne, said “We began a major kitchen at the Omaththai border with the Government and WFP in March. We provided more than 160,000 meals until the last person crossed the border on 19th May. Now we continue to feed the IDPs in Manik Farm,” he said.

At present the Government’s appointed Special Task Force for North and the Competent Authority under the supervision of the Military man who holds a Major General post, G.A.Chandrasiri closely work with the NGOs and the government agencies to feed the IDPs and finalize resettlement plans so they can return to their former villages as soon as possible.

"The government’s plan is to finish the ongoing security screening plan for IDPs within two to three weeks. After that the Special Task Force on North Development will launch its 180 day resettlement project," said Dr. Navaratne.

At present the NGOs help the IDPs maintain 131 community kitchens in the four zones of Manik Farm, Vavuniya. Sewalanka Foundation is currently operating 7 community kitchens, as well as a kitchen for orphans, in order to feed more than 16,000 people 3 meals per day. Assistance is provided by the World Food Programme, the Government and other donors.

Dr. Navaratne said that there have been many food loads sent from southern Sri Lanka. "It is good to see how many people want to help the IDPs. There have been donations from many rural communities. They donate various foods, households items, drinking water bottles and clothes for them" , he said.

"This is a good move. People in the south are hoping for a new era. Thousands of private vehicles have carried donations for the northern IDPs. It is a great help for the people", he said.

- Asian Tribune -

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