Sri Lanka

Emergency response after storm hits IDP camp

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Most shelter for internally displaced, a school and several health facilities were destroyed or damaged when a storm hit Northern Sri Lanka on Saturday. The Danish Refugee Council is providing emergency aid to limit the consequences for the families affected.

Saturday afternoon a tornado accompanied by heavy winds, rain and golf ball sized hail hit Zone 1 of Menik Farm, a camp housing 1,842 internally displaced families near Vavuniya in Northern Sri Lanka. 16 people received medical treatment from a nearby hospital, while 942 out of 1031 shelters for families living in Zone 1 of the camp, the school and several Sri Lankan Red Cross Health facilities were destroyed or damaged.

“There had been a food distribution that began just days before the storm, these food rations were ruined and therefore our first response is to provide supplementary food items to those affected,” says Rob Drouen, Country Representative of the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in Sri Lanka.

DRC is coordinating its response with UN and camp officials. DRC will start out providing supplementary food items in Zone 1 – possibly expanding this response into Zone 0 once more information is known.

DRC has been working in Menik Farm since September 2009 and for the past year has been implementing a project funded by ECHO aimed at responding to the individual needs of IDPs through the delivery of tailored assistance packages. From November to February DRC has provided assistance to 79 families in Menik Farm.