Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Mannar & Trincomalee, Ampara & Batticaloa Situation Report #73

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26 April - 10 April 2007

JAFFNA DISTRICT

Situation update

Situation is tense. Curfew hours still remain from 1900-0400 hrs.

Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs was in Sri Lanka 8-10 May. He discussed the peace process, humanitarian issues, and human rights with President Rajapaksa, government ministers, senior military officials, and civil society leaders in Colombo. He also visited Jaffna on 09 May on a fact finding mission to take a first hand look at the situation in the region. There he met with the DS for Jaffna and other senior officials for discussions on the present situation in Jaffna. At a press conference in Colombo on 10 May, Boucher said he was concerned about the way things are and have been heading. He had been following the situation closely and there is concern on many fronts, economics, Human Rights and Press freedom.

Improvement is reported in the availability of basic food and non-food commodities (except for construction materials). Prices are regulated but purchasing power especially among the IDPs is weak, due to discontinuance of many economic and construction activities.

Security situation especially blocking of major roads, cordon and search operations, is impacting on humanitarian convoy movements and operations. Roads passing near security bases are being closed systematically creating long diversions.

The regular WFP Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) activities are being hampered by transportation. Only 200 MT of wheat flour was received during the 15-30 April period.

Work on the common user logistics hub is hampered by inadequate materials. Once completed, the facility will provide a 3,500 MT capacity of storage for the humanitarian community in Jaffna.

During 15-30 April, the WFP managed UNHAS operated three flights between Jaffna and Colombo. 59 passengers were moved from Jaffna to Colombo and 29 from Colombo to Jaffna whilst 2,735.6 Kg of cargo was airlifted from Colombo to Jaffna.

Protection

The UNHCR noted an increase in the number of IDPs in TACs (Transitional Accommodation Centers) in Chavakachcheri and Karaveddy divisions commuting to their places of origin during the day due to decreased shelling in that area during the past nine-ten weeks.

A SGBV (Sexual and Gender Based Violence) case was identified by the UNHCR Protection team and is being followed up by Community Services.

The UNHCR is closely monitoring the situation of 45 IDP families living at the OLR in Jaffna town, who have been requested by church authorities to locate alternative accommodation. UNHCR met with the IDPs, as well as with local and religious authorities to discuss the issue. In a meeting held on the 30th of April, the UNHCR was informed that many of the IDPs have been able to identify land to lease for relocation.

The UNHCR paid a follow-up visit to Tsunami affected returnees in Koriyadi village, PPD, to discuss the issue of the SLN's recent request for them to relocate to expand the nearby military base. The UNHCR continues to closely monitor the situation.

Shelter

UNHCR implementing partner JSAC upgraded 83 TAC shelters with cadjan for side covering and 120 doors.

Security clearances were provided for shelter and watsan interventions for 21 IDP families living with host families in Sandilipay Center, Mahiyapitty, Manipay West, Navali North, and Manipay South. The work will be undertaken by JSAC and ICRC.

Livelihood

Over 3,000 direct beneficiaries have been supported by UNDP through various types of income generation activities since 11 August 2006.

JSAC/UNHCR completed the third training of semi-skilled carpenters. 30 individuals have benefited and will be placed on a roster for possible shelter construction projects by members of the Shelter Coordination Working Group.

Health

The DPDHS (Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services) reports that an additional 185 children who were reported as severely malnourished in Kopay and Kayts health divisions were registered with the community level Nutrition Rehabilitation Programme (NRP).

9,510 children (6-59 months) in seven health divisions registered with the community level NRP are being assisted with High Energy Biscuits through PHM (Public Health Midwives).

UNICEF airlifted 77 boxes of BP100 (a milk based food supplement to combat malnutrition) on 13 April for the ongoing nutrition rehabilitation programme implemented by DPDHS.

In April, WFP issued 2 weeks food for 120,000 vulnerable beneficiaries (39,000 families) under the VGF (Vulnerable Group Feeding) program. Beneficiaries will receive food for a total of 12 weeks. The full basket consists of 15 kg of food per person per month.

WHO is collecting data on suicides in the district while vocational training programmes are in progress in Tellippalai.

Water & Sanitation

UNICEF continues to assist the Government in meeting the minimum water and sanitation requirements of August 11 IDPs in TACs, host communities and primary schools. The monthly distribution of hygiene items to IDPs in 22 TACs has been undertaken while work is in progress on construction 26 toilets and three bathing facilities at 11 locations and repainting and improving of watsan facilities at 17 schools used by IDPs in Jaffna, Karaveddy and Chava.

Education

Student stationery kits purchased by UNICEF for 140,000 students are yet to be transported by the Ministry of Education via Government ship from Colombo.

9,795 sanitary pads were distributed to all schoolgirls in the Advance and Ordinary level classes (grades 11-13) in all the divisions of education except Jaffna division on the request of ZDE (Zonal Director of Education).

Agriculture & Food Security

FAO handed over 6 LUCAS Acid batteries to the Dept. of Animal Production and Health, Jaffna to reactivate the poultry hatchery plant in Atchuveli, Kopay DS Division.

FAO, in collaboration with the Dept. of Agriculture carried out the 2nd training programme in Improved Agricultural Techniques for 420 vulnerable households who had previously received pulses and vegetable kits.

NFRIs

UNHCR distributed NFRIs to 27 IDP families who were displaced from Chavakacheri and living with host families in the Maruthankerni Division. UNHCR also distributed lanterns to IDPs at Vigneswara TAC in the Karaveddy Division, and to IDP families from Chavakachcheri living at the TAC in Navashakthi.

Mine Action

422 community members from Changanai, Sandilipay, Chavakachcheri and Kopay DS divisions participated and benefited from 19 MRE (Mine Risk Education) De-mining site programmes conducted by MRE NGO partners.

235 community members from 11 "at risk areas" in Kopay, Sandilipay, DS divisions participated and benefited from MRE house to house programmes conducted by MRE NGO partners.

30 posters and 100 leaflets were distributed to volunteers covering Mandaitivu and Allaipiddy areas.

The UNICEF supported Survivors Assistance NGO Jaipur, distributed one arm crutches to persons with disabilities and conducted six physiotherapy sessions on a mine survivor and four other persons with disabilities.