Joint Humanitarian and Early Recovery Update, Sri Lanka, May 2012 – Report #42
This report indicates the UN and NGO partner response to continuing humanitarian needs and early recovery concerns, in support to the Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to rebuild the former conflict‐affected regions. Activities show progress towards the sectoral priorities and goals described in the 2011 Joint Plan for Assistance.
I. SITUATION OVERVIEW & HIGHLIGHTS
Returns and displacement
By 31 May 2012, about 436,500 people (130,600 families) had returned to the Northern Province. This figure includes some 229,000 people (72,600 families) displaced after April 2008 and 207,400 persons (58,000 families) displaced before April 2008.
No movements took place from Menik Farm in May, and approximately 6,000 IDPs (1,800 families), displaced after April 2008, remained in the camp awaiting return to their areas of origin.
An additional 7,300 IDPs (1,970 families) from the protracted or long-term caseload, displaced prior to April 2008, remained in welfare centers in Jaffna and Vavuniya districts.
The Government and the UN are committed to finding solutions for displaced people, who sought shelter with friends and relatives, left camps and are still living with host families, or are stranded in transit sites. Additionally long-term IDPs seek assistance to reclaim their homes and properties or integrate with their host communities.
IDPs returns to Thirumurikandy on the cards
The authorities have requested UN transport assistance, shelter cash grants and Non-Food Items (NFI) to return 180 people (47 families) from Menik Farm to Thirumurikandy, in Oddusuddan Divisional Secretariat Division (DSD) of Mullaitivu district, on 23 June. Representatives of the Menik Farm IDPs participated in a ‘go-and-see’ visit to their home areas on 14 June. Some representatives of IDPs originating from Thirumurikandy living with host families also came along.
Concerns remain about durable resettlement in this region, because of complex issues surrounding land ownership. Some former residents cannot show a valid legal title to the lands they claim. In a departure from Government policy thus far, landless returnees may be allocated state land.
The Government released parts of Thirumurikandy Grama Niladhari (GND), following advocacy by political leaders, donors and humanitarian agencies. However, there is no information or progress on the release of the rest of Thirumurikandy GND still occupied by a military camp.
Agencies seeking funds to continue basic services to Menik Farm
Basic services to Menik Farm are reaching critical levels with the majority of providers approaching the end of their funding in June. But mine clearance progress in the IDPs’ places of origin in Mullaitivu District suggests the camp will have to remain open at least until October. Agencies are seeking funds to maintain essential services until the last IDPs have left Menik Farm (see Table 1 below).
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.