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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

Assistance from American people tops $10 million for 2007

Colombo, 15 September, ( The United States will provide $2 million in immediate emergency relief funding for conflict-displaced in Sri Lanka as part of a $24 million worldwide package announced last week in Washington.USAID captured this scene from an IDP camp in Batticaloa earlier this year.  (Photo:  USAID/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)USAID captured this scene from an IDP camp in Batticaloa earlier this year. (Photo: USAID/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)

The funding, from the U.S. State Department’s Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund will support the work of the UN High Commission on Refugee (UNHCR) and NGOs to protect and provide assistance to Sri Lankan internally displaced persons and refugees. This funding will support programs to provide protection, emergency shelter, non-food relief items, water and sanitation, camp management, reception services for Internally Displaced People (IDPs), and special projects for returnees.

“These emergency funds from Washington are necessary and timely,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake. “The Government faces a great challenge to ensure that the fundamental needs of conflict-displaced Sri Lankans are met, and to resettle them back into their homes as soon as possible. The American government wants to assist in this effort.”

This new funding complements ongoing programs for emergency and tsunami relief from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Through its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), USAID provided $3.8 million in 2007 to assist vulnerable conflict-affected populations in Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Jaffna Districts. Funds to these districts went toward emergency relief supplies, nutrition, protection and water & sanitation, and are administered by USAID partners, including UNICEF, the U.N.’s World Food Programme, and Save the Children.

In addition, the USAID Food for Peace program provided 17,500 tons of commodities in August 2007 valued at $5 million will benefit 1.4 million people. An additional $8.9 million worth of in-kind commodity contribution will arrive later this year.

These emergency funds represent a fine example of the complementary work of various U.S. agencies and the commitment of the United States to assist the conflict-affected population of Sri Lanka,” said USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn.

- Asian Tribune -

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