Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Drought Revised Emergency Appeal n° MDRLK004

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This revised Emergency Appeal is being revised from CHF 1,070,504 to CHF 186,642 in cash, kind, or services to support the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) to assist 20,000 drought affected families (some 125,000 people). The operating timeframe is being revised from 18 months to slightly over five months, and will be completed by 9 April 2013. A Final Report will be available by 9 July 2013.

CHF 145,336 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

Appeal history:

This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 2 November 2012 seeking CHF 1,070,504 to assist 20,000 drought affected families (some 125,000 people) in rural remote areas of Sri Lanka for 18 months. The timeframe was reduced largely due to the lack of interest from International donors resulting in the need to revise the livelihood’s targets and activities.

The immediate needs of the worst affected communities have been largely met by SLRCS with its own emergency funds and limited resources raised from multilateral as well as bilateral in-country based partners. The efforts of SLRCS succeeded to ensure that:

· * 25,000 people (5,000 families) in the worst affected villages of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Monaragala, Hambantota and Mannar districts had access to safe drinking water (6 ltr per person per day in accordance with minimum SPHERE drinking and cooking standards) through improved water storage via distribution of water tanks and containers.

· * 280 schools (100,000 schoolchildren) in the worst affected rural areas were provided with water tanks.

· * 1,400 families (7,000 people) of 1,750 families targeted by the appeal (i.e. 80 per cent) were provided with immediate cash grant to purchase agricultural input (seeds and fertilizers) to facilitate immediate crop planting while weather conditions permitted.

· * Risk of epidemics contained via dengue prevention and hygiene promotion campaigns in high risk areas during the peak season.

With planting seasons coming to an end (in March2013) and limited donor interest, opportunities for SLRCS to provide any meaningful support to the farmers who are still struggling to recover are diminishing. The last four months have also seen extremely volatile patterns of weather prompting SLRCS to rethink its strategy and after careful analysis of its perceptions of the needs as well as its capacities and donor interest, SLRCS is shifting the focus to support the development of relevant climate adaptation activities within the existing context of disaster risk reduction programme to try to address some of the longer-term needs identified in the appeal.

The programme adopts an integrated approach to strengthen community safety and resilience. Thematic priorities within this integrated approach include:

· * Spreading awareness of a ‘culture of safety’

· * Supporting communities in improving environmental and physical infrastructure (through participatory and locally driven community-based disaster risk management methodology)

· * Integrating climate change adaptation into community resilience work and strengthening disaster response, recovery and risk management continuum. SLRCS has a vital role to play in linking with expert agencies and utilizing networks to obtain and simplify information from research and weather monitoring institutions to ensure communities understand trends involved in changing patterns of risk.

· * Improving access to safe water and sanitation.

· * Reducing malnutrition via promoting alternative and supplementary livelihood, and home gardening, rehabilitation of minor irrigation systems and agro wells.

· * Promoting behavioural change with a focus on good hygiene practises, healthy life-style, community-based first aid and Dengue prevention.

A part of this integrated approach is to support SLRCS in strengthening its grassroots structures, as they form an integral part of communities where we promote and support safety and resilience. The areas badly affected by the 2012 drought will be incorporated in the list of communities targeted by the integrated programme. For more details on the methodology and activities, refer to the IFRC Long-Term Programme Framework (LTPF).