Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Floods and Landslides - Emergency appeal n° MDRLK003 final report


Period covered by this report: 12 January 2011 to 31 March 2012

Appeal target (current): CHF 4.62 million

Appeal coverage: Including

Appeal history:

  • This final report is now issued with a final financial report. The balance of funds from this emergency appeal, amounting to CHF 87,756, will be transferred to MDRLK002 for supporting internally displaced persons (IDP) operation.

  • The preliminary final report was issued on 24 July 2012 due to pending clearance of working advance.

  • The operations update no. 4 was issued on 9 January 2012, with operation extended for two months to 31 March 2012.

  • A six-month consolidated report was covered in the operations update no. 3 was issued on 13 September 2011.

  • This emergency appeal was revised on 26 January 2011 for CHF 4.62 million for 12 months to assist up to 75,000 people (15,000 families) affected by the floods.

  • A preliminary emergency appeal was launched on 14 January 2011 for CHF 655,670 for six months to assist up to 70,000 people (14,000 families).

  • Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF): CHF 100,166 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ DREF to support the National Society to respond to the floods.


The consequences of the extreme weather starting late 2010 were tragic for many in Sri Lanka. Close to 1.2 million people in 18 out of 25 districts were affected in the Eastern, Northern, North‐central and Uva provinces of the country. The devastating floods were triggered by unusually protracted and heavy rains. 44 people were killed. Many of those who survived have described the floods as the worst they have experienced in the last five decades.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS), a leading indigenous humanitarian organization in Sri Lanka, played a vital role in mitigating the human suffering. Volunteers were mobilized from across the country to extend a helping hand to their fellow country men, women and children who had lost their family members, homes and livelihoods to treacherous waters. Thousands were helped to evacuate to safer grounds and were provided with first aid. Those with more serious injuries were transferred to nearby hospitals. Some 7,500 families were assisted by SLRCS alone with one or more emergency shelter and relief item (depending on their needs) mobilized from SLRCS contingency stocks. Items distributed included clothes, sleeping mats, tents, lanterns, candles, tarpaulin sheets, hygiene items and drinking water. SLRCS operated mobile first aid teams and a mobile kitchen. Some 20,000 people were provided wit cooked food by SLRCS volunteers during the early days of the emergency. As soon as the flood waters subsided and access to the affected areas improved, Red Cross volunteers started to work side-by-side with local authorities and affected families to clean hospitals, homes, wells and schools for people to return to normal lives as soon as possible.

SLRCS efforts ensured those affected by the disaster had a basic minimum to protect their life, health and dignity. This would not have been possible without the generous support of Red Cross Red Crescent partners from around the globe and on behalf of the SLRCS and those affected by the disaster, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) takes this opportunity to thank all who showed compassion for those suffering in Sri Lanka. The SLRCS employees and hundreds of volunteers worked hard with disarming dedication to sooth pain and bring hope.

With immediate threat to lives gone, the operation shifted focus to supporting the worst of the flood affected families to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. 1,286 families received a shelter cash grant, and another 2,800 families were assisted to restart their livelihoods – paddy and other field crops (2,722 families, dairy cattle (13 families), inland reservoir fisheries (21 families) and poultry (43 families). The operation also supported 27 community-based disaster risk reduction initiatives – cleaning of irrigation channels, construction of retention walls and storage facilities as well as 95 latrines in 51 schools in flood prone areas.

The operation has tested SLRCS disaster management capacities and holds many lessons learned and it was vital to capture them to be better prepared for any future emergencies. With this in mind, in February 2012 an internal review meeting was held to take the stock of our achievements and challenges as well as recommendations. An external evaluation of the operation was also conducted. Final evaluation report is available upon request.

This final report is now issued with the final financial report. The balance of funds from this emergency appeal, amounting to CHF 87,756, will be transferred to Sri Lanka long-term planning framework 2012-2015 (MAALK002).