Where now for Sri Lanka’s war refugees?
17 December 2009
Caritas is making an urgent appeal for US$3,262,381 (234,236.72 euro) to help people rebuild their lives and homes in Sri Lanka following the end of its decades-long war.
Caritas delivering vital aid to thounsands of people in Sri Lanka who had fled their homes in the recent fighting.
As the Government closes down the camps where people have been held since the end of the conflict in May, many people have the difficult task of finding a home and a job .
“People are desperate to leave the camps, but they’re very reluctant because they have nowhere to go,” says Fr Damien Fernando, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka. “Their houses have been damaged or destroyed. The Government hasn’t yet finished clearing mines from their land.”
Through its emergency appeal, Caritas aims to fund programmes which will provide people with temporary and permanent shelter, access to food, water and hygiene facilities, support in schooling for children, and counselling.
Widows with large families, women and child headed households, people with disabilities and the elderly will be prioritised in receiving Caritas’ help.
“Caritas needs to help people get resettled. They are anxious about their future. Many people are just waiting for the right opportunity to get back their lives,” says Fr Damien.
More than 100,000 displaced people from Sri Lanka’s camps were released at the end of November. While there’s a big push to close the camps, people are expected to stay until January and beyond because they have nowhere to go.
The war in the north and east of Sri Lanka also devastated communities’ infrastructure, making returns home difficult. Part of the Caritas programme will focus on improving access to local markets in order to bolster the communities’ ability to boost their income and strengthen the local economy.
For more information, please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879721/+39 334 2344136 or email@example.com