Aid agencies struggle to cope as number of IDPs soars in Kilinochchi

Aid agencies in Vanni are facing several obstacles to provide adequate aid and care for the internally displaced persons (IDPs), a report in today’s print edition of Sri Lanka’s premier Tamil daily Virakesari said, quoting Gordon Weiss, the spokesman of the United Nations Colombo office.

He said there are funding shortages as well as safety of IDPs and humanitarian workers to consider. The spokesman said both Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Government of Sri Lanka must to agree on a safe corridor to ensure civilian lives are protected.

“The situation in the areas is very fluid and UN supplies to these people are vital”, Gordon Weiss said in an earlier report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In different report, the Government Agent of Kilinochchi is quoted stating a total of 113,397 internally displaced persons is seeking refuge in that district alone. The report by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Peace Secretariat (LTTEPS) further said, the soaring number of refugees is putting strains on the ability to provide services for the IDPs.

Full text of statement by LTTEPS:

In the ongoing displacement of people inside Vanni, forced out from their settlements by indiscriminate bombing and shelling of the Sri Lanka military, Kilinochchi district has received greater number of the displaced putting the humanitarian efforts of all agencies in the district under great pressure.

People from Mannar, north of Vavuniya and Mullaithivu districts have displaced to Kilinochchi in unprecedented numbers. Even people from within Kilinochchi are displacing, many families have displaced several times within a few weeks. Kilinochchi Government Agent said that as of 8 August, a total of 113,397 people have sought IDP status inside the district.

Over the last few days, people have displaced from Anaivilunthan and Akkarayan in the Karachchi AGA division in the district. People are also presently displacing from Nachchikuda, Kiranchi and Jeyapuram areas in the Poonahari AGA division. People could still be seen living under trees in the district. Some who have sought refuge in schools must be vacated before 4 September in readiness for the reopening of the schools.

Civilians are also continuing to be killed and injured by the indiscriminate attacks. Since the attack of the Mulliathivu hospital complex at 1.00am on 9 August, five civilians were killed and more than 25 have been injured by shelling and bombing. A large number of schools as well as hospitals were displaced adding to the chaos created in civilian life.

LTTE Political wing has issued an urgent call to the people to dig bunkers in homes and work places to protect people from the indiscriminate attack by the Sri Lanka military.

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[Vanni Displacement Pictorial]

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