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U.S. concerned over rushed resettlement of Sri Lanka’s IDPs

While welcoming Sri Lankan government’s work to quickly resettle nearly 280,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) following the three-decade long conflict in May 2009, the United States said today that it remains concerned about the rushed resettlement of the final IDPs to close the Menik Farm camp.The U.S. Embassy in Colombo in a statement noted that “many of the most vulnerable families of the war-affected population in the North have been placed on land hastily cleared without adequate shelter, water and sanitation, or provisions to continue their livelihoods while many long term IDPs remain unable to return home or access basic services from the government.”The Embassy announced that the U.S. Government has recently awarded over US$3million to three organizations supporting resettling communities in the Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province.The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance has awarded funding to three NGOs -ZOA Refugee Care, Sewalanka, and Practical Action – to provide the basic needs for the resettled IDPs.The support will provide help to nearly 50,000 IDPs with basic services such as adequate shelter, access to potable water and proper sanitation, and food security, the U.S. Embassy said.According to the Embassy, the programs will support the resettled families to start generating needed income, and connect farmers and fishermen with markets.”Through its assistance, the United States is helping resettled people move towards a better future and the U.S. Embassy looks forward to continuing to work with the Government of Sri Lanka provide the services and care Sri Lankans need,” the Embassy said.

TELO Admin