Start Fund awards £266,590 for Sri Lanka floods
Last Tuesday 6th January the Start Fund was alerted by CAFOD following the recent flooding across Sri Lanka. On Friday a local Project Selection Committee was convened in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where it was decided that £266,590 should be awarded to CAFOD, Care and World Vision.
The Alert Note described how “the whole of Sri Lanka has been affected by the prolonged floods that have inundated several parts of the country for the past three weeks; the Government of Sri Lanka has reported these floods to be the worst since 1957.” It went on to say: “During the past year Sri Lanka has had floods from the last quarter of 2013 to a prolonged drought from February to September 2014. The latest disaster has further eroded people’s ability to withstand and recover from adverse weather events.”
While figures have varied on numbers of people affected by the crisis, the ACAPS briefing note, produced immediately following the alert, cited reports that have suggested up to 1.1 million people were at risk. An accompanying briefing note from Development Initiatives stated that “no international humanitarian assistance has been reported for Sri Lanka since July 2014.”
Drawing on the results of a needs assessment conducted by CAFOD’s partner Caritas Sri Lanka, the alert note cited the most urged priorities to be for food and Non-Food Items to replace items lost or destroyed.
Five colleagues from Start Network member agencies met in Colombo on Friday morning to assess eight proposals received for the response. The local Project Selection Committee confirmed that the overall situation in Sri Lanka is currently underfunded by both the government and the international aid community. In that light, the committee indicated that greater funding would be required to fully address the disaster. The budget as set by the Allocation Committee of £250,000 was tweaked by the Project Selection Committee with a discretionary 10%.
The Project Selection Committee meeting coincided with the Sri Lankan presidential elections. While the growing violence during the campaigning period poses an increased risk, the 45 day Start Fund grant will enable NGOs to provide immediate relief to citizens during a time of potential disruption.
The three successful agencies began implementing their projects on Saturday and aim to reach a total of 44,260 people with food packs, Non-Food Items and shelter assistance.