The Roman Catholic Church yesterday provided details of the disbursement of a total of Rs. 400 million in donations received by the Archbishop of Colombo as aid for the victims of the Easter Sunday terror attacks. Briefing news media at the Archbishop’s House, Colombo, the Rt. Rev. Dr. J.D. Anthony Jayakody, Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo said: “For the children, parents and relatives of the 168 people that lost their lives during the tragic incidents on Easter Sunday, Rs. 16.8 million have been provided to date.
As an aid for the 356 people that were injured, an amount of Rs. 17.8Mn was provided for their medical expenses, obtaining medical reports, paying for hospital charges and surgeries conducted at private hospitals, and obtaining medical equipment and medicine. Furthermore, for education assistance and social wellbeing of the 354 affected families, Rs. 17 million has been utilized to launch various projects.”
Dr. Jayakody explained that all donations that were received by the Archbishop of Colombo are being actively managed through a relief programme and disbursed via Seth Sarana, the Social Service Arm of the Archdiocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka.He said that the Zion Church in Batticaloa, which was not a part of the Archdiocese of Colombo, was provided with Rs. 10 million for relief programmes for the affected people of that church.
The Archbishop of Colombo has planned a series of future relief initiatives to aid the affected people, Reverend Jayakody also said.
“Rs. 53.1 million has been allotted to purchase land to construct houses for the victimized families with no permanent residence and living on rent while providing Rs. 35.2 million worth of relief funds for the day-to-day living expenses of the victims. An amount of 30.3 million has been allocated for the livelihoods of low-income families and a provision of Rs. 32 million has been allocated for the people disabled by the tragedy to obtain further medical care. Rs. 102.5 Mn will be allocated for the education of affected children up to university admission and to provide a monthly stipend for new-borns up to 5 years.” he disclosed.
Observing that the relief programme for the victims of Easter Sunday attacks was to be a long-term effort, Reverend Dr. Jayakody pointed out that they have allocated Rs. 8 million for various religious and spiritual upliftment projects. He also pointed out that Rs. 8 million has been allocated for professional psychological counseling therapy while Rs. 20 Mn was allocated for other emergencies and special assistance requirements.The Emmaus Life Healing Centre which was set up in Katuwapitiya, by Dialog Foundation’s Rally as a care initiative under the supervision of the Cardinal, to provide psychosocial rehabilitation support to affected families and the entire community, is staffed with a team of 20 professional counsellors, 10 psychotherapists and 17 psychiatrists. Over 770 children, young adults and adults have been counselled and treated at the Life Healing Centre, and 200 house visits have been conducted for affected families to help recover and cope with the tragic incidents, to date.Seth Sarana Caritas Director Rev.Fr. Lawrence Ramanayake, Rev. Fr. Prasad Harshana and Reverend Sister Nishanthi Jayamanne also spoke.