Sri Lanka: Cyclone appeal No. 36/00 final report

This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals
Launched on: 28th December 2000 for 4 months for CHF 528,308

DREFAllocated: CHF 100,000

Beneficiaries: 5,480 families

"At a glance"

Appeal coverage: 91.5%

Related Appeals 01.39101 Sri Lanka

In summary: The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, with Federation support, launched a quick and effective relief effort after a cyclone caused severe problems along the country's east coast in December 2000. A good response to the Federation's emergency appeal, effective coordination and a well functioning and committed National Society on the ground all contributed to a successful operation.

Operational Developments:

The news that the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) had distributed relief materials prompted many other families to seek support, in particular from the Trincomalee Branch. These families had been overlooked by other organisations responding to the cyclone damage. As a result, the Branches concerned made a second stage assessment of needs. A new and final additional prioritised list of affected families was drawn up and a final distribution made. This delayed the closure of the programme within the normal 90 period as well as the production of this final report.

Red Cross Red Crescent action

The SLRCS relief operation concentrated on providing roofing materials, cooking utensils, bedsheets and sleeping mats to families who had been made homeless or shelterless from the high winds and storm surge. Red Cross volunteers assisted Government officials to distribute cooked food and clothing as well as giving first aid to those in need.

The Federation launched an Emergency Appeal on 28 December (two days after the disaster and after the SLRCS had completed its initial assessment) and made CHF 100,000 from the disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) available.

On 31 December an experienced Federation disaster response manager was deployed to support the SLRCS in the initial 10 days of its response. Two weeks later an experienced disaster preparedness delegate from the Federation's regional delegation assisted the SLRCS for 14 days in the final logistics of secondary assessment, logistics coordination, and distribution. He helped review the initial programme to build disaster preparedness learning into future planning.

Coordination was also established between the SLRCS, the Federation and ICRC who also mobilised support for relief activities by branches in conflict affected areas.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Society

Red Cross volunteers helped homeless people find appropriate temporary shelters, conducted a comprehensive assessment of overall shelter and relief supply needs, and distributed the limited disaster preparedness stocks already in store. Their efforts were recognised by the Government and other organisations.

The ICRC provided emergency relief in areas in which the ongoing armed conflict limited access.

The American and Spanish Red Cross Societies also assisted the SLRCS with bilateral donations to support their relief effort. This enabled the SLRCS to assist 3,000 families with non-food relief items. These items had been distributed to all but 229 families by 12 February, with the final distributions completed soon after.


Objective 1

To provide volunteer First Aid to those suffering in the first few days following the cyclone.

This was provided in a timely and effective manner. Local government officials and communities in the affected areas were grateful. The media gave positive coverage to branch activities.


The Federation took over procurement and distribution after a legal intervention by the government which had installed an interim Board of management in the National Society. Nevertheless, local Branch officials were involved in identifying beneficiaries and distribution.


Objective 1

To provide corrugated iron sheeting to families who had lost their shelter, with priority to those who had lost their homes or whose houses were severely damaged.

With the provision of additional bilateral funding from the Spanish and American Red Cross, Federation-supported relief activities focused mainly on the provision of corrugated iron sheeting to families who needed to rebuild roofing.

Objective 2

To conduct a second phase assessment of families missed by the first relief activities and provide roofing sheets to these families on a prioritised basis according to needs

A second phase assessment was conducted and a further 760 families were provided with roofing materials.

National Society Capacity Building

The presence of the Federation disaster response and Regional disaster preparedness (DP) delegates early on in the relief operation ensured capacity building of the Society's logistics and assessment systems. However, both delegates were generally satisfied with the branch level activities and capacities in particular. The review and learning exercise conducted by the regional DP delegate produced eight recommendations for longer term disaster preparedness.


The coordination at all levels internally and externally within the Movement was in general satisfactory. From the earliest stage the branches coordinated with the local government officials and other voluntary organisations. A post-disaster learning workshop for all these actors was also held to improve future responses.

At national HQ level, the Society liaised with the Ministry of Social Services, although a legal action between the Society and the Ministry decreased the effectiveness of this link. There was less liaison with non Red Cross Red Crescent Movement actors in country. But the National Society did develop strong and credible links with other sister societies, including the bilateral support of the Spanish and American Red Cross Societies.

The media response was well coordinated by the National Society's Information Officer and the NS received sustained and positive publicity for its work both at district and national levels.

For further details please contact: Charles Eldred-Evans, Phone : 4l 22 7304320; Fax: 4l 22 733 03 95; email:

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

This operation sought to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or long-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.

Peter Rees-Gildea
Head a.i.
Relationship Management Department

Hiroshi Higashiura
Asia Pacific Department

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