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Sri Lanka: More than 12,000 families helped in the North and East

02-01-2005 News Release 05/1

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has so far provided essential household items to nearly 12,150 families in the North and East of Sri Lanka hit by the Tsunami on 26 December. Each kit typically comprises a bucket, three bed sheets, two plastic mats, a cooking set, and soap. Many families also received lanterns and clothing. All ICRC relief distributions were carried out in close co-operation with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS).

 

Press photos
   
© ICRC/J. Van Heerden ref.LK-E-0003 
 
  North of Sri Lanka, Mullaitivu District, Tsunami victims, 27.12.04    
       
©ICRC/Daniel Glinz ref.LK-E-00047 
 
  The ICRC offers a free satphone connection to call family members in Sri Lanka and abroad to re-establish familiy links that were cut by the tsunami.    
     
   
©ICRC/Daniel Glinz 
 
  The ICRC offers a free satphone connection to call family members in Sri Lanka and abroad to re-establish familiy links that were cut by the tsunami.    
     
  Photos on this page:
  Shot in welfare centres in Galle town, Sri Lanka, 31 December 2004 to 1 January 2005. © ICRC/Daniel Glinz, ICRC Head of RTU in Colombo.



These photos show the joint ICRC/SLRCS tracing services to displaced people who lost their houses and are put in welfare camps. ICRC offers a free satphone connection to call family members in Sri Lanka and abroad to re-establish familiy links that were cut by the tsunami.
   
  
Starting a few hours after the catastrophe, the ICRC and the SLRCS began helping authorities in the affected areas to evacuate hundreds of injured persons and recover corpses. In addition to its large-scale relief distributions, the ICRC has also provided medical supplies including vaccines, antibiotics, disinfectant and bandages to hospitals in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi. In these areas and in the Trincomalee district the ICRC has also begun delivering water tanks to welfare centres hosting displaced persons.
 
Over the coming days the ICRC plans to assist a further 18,000 families drawing on relief items already in storage in Sri Lanka. Additional supplies are due to arrive on different relief flights. The organisation also plans to further assist medical structures and improve water and sanitation in the North (Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts) and the East (Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara) of Sri Lanka – areas where the ICRC was active before the disaster struck.
 
Meanwhile, five joint ICRC / SLRCS teams have been offering tracing services to displaced persons staying at welfare centres at the South, North and East of the country. The displaced are given the possibility to contact relatives in Sri Lanka or elsewhere by telephone. Tracing needs continue to be assessed in other locations hosting displaced persons. In addition, the ICRC continues to operate a website ( www.familylinks.icrc.org ) to help separated families in Sri Lanka and other countries affected by this catastrophe.
 
The ICRC closely cooperates with its partners in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement: the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, t he Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and other national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies sending personnel and relief goods to Sri Lanka.

 For more information please contact:  

 Marcal Izard, ICRC Colombo, ++94 777 28 96 82  

 Florian Westphal, ICRC Geneva, ++41 22 730 29 30 / ++41 79 217 32 26  

 Eros Bosisio, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 21 01./ ++41 79 217 3264