Sri Lanka

IOM Completes Voluntary Returns from Sri Lanka's Menik Farm Displacement Camp

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IOM yesterday helped the last 251 families in the Menik Farm camp displacement camp near Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka to voluntarily return to their homes in Mullaitivu district.

The move, funded by the Government of Japan and in close coordination with the UN, NGOs and the government, marks the end of an IOM operation that has helped some 250,000 internally displaced people to return home from the camp, which was set up in 2009 in the aftermath of war and at one point housed some 300,000 people.

"These families wanted to go home and IOM, in partnership with the UN and the humanitarian community, has helped them to do so in safety and dignity. Their home area has now been demined and is suitable for habitation," said IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Richard Danziger.

In addition to offering voluntary return assistance from the camp over the past three years, IOM established bus services to allow children attend school and assisted the Ministry of Health with ambulances to help the camp population and surrounding communities.

This support was provided as part of IOM's overall programme for "Reintegration and Reconciliation Assistance to Northern Conflict-Affected Communities" funded by the Government of Japan. Other activities implemented by IOM through this programme include livelihood support to former Tamil Tiger (LTTE) soldiers and other conflict-affected individuals, training and career guidance for youth, support to psychosocial services and community development.

For more information please contact Richard Danziger at IOM Colombo. Email: rdanziger@iom.int Tel. +94.773171077

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