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Sri Lanka: First time aid in ten days to Jaffna

23-08-2006 News Release 06/97

Colombo / Geneva (ICRC) – A ship sailing under the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) finally left the port of Colombo yesterday heading to Jaffna.

  © Reuters / A. Lokuhapuarachchi, courtesy    
  Colombo, Sri Lanka. Workers load a ship hired by the ICRC with food and medicine destined for Jaffna, 21.08.2006 

'' The ship contains urgently needed relief to the displaced and resident population of the Jaffna peninsula, " said Mr Vandenhove, ICRC Head of delegation in Colombo.

The food and medicine are provided by the Sri Lankan Government and the World Food Program (WFP) and total 1,500 metric tons. The food consists of rice, dahl, sugar, beans, and tinned fish. The ICRC is shipping 810 hygiene kits and other supplies. The vessel is expected to reach Jaffna in the coming days.

Both parties to the conflict have provided security guarantees for the ship and the cargo.

Since renewed fighting broke out on the peninsula some ten days ago, Jaffna is currently cut off by land and by sea, disrupting the life of the people already affected by the conflict.'' The ICRC hopes that access to Jaffna by humanitarian actors will be more regular in the coming weeks, should the current difficult situation on the ground prevail'' said Mr Vandenhove.

The ICRC maintains an office in Jaffna with 46 staff.


For further information, please contact:
  Davide Vignati, ICRC Colombo, tel : +94 11 250 33 46 or +94 77 728 96 82
  Carla Haddad, ICRC Geneva, tel : +41 22 730 24 05 or mobile +41 79 217 32 26