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IOM plans more assistance to flood and landslide-hit Sri Lanka

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – The UN Migration Agency IOM said Tuesday (06) that it plans to provide 3,700 shelter repair kits, 5,000 non-food relief item kits and 250 temporary shelters to assist the worst flood-affected areas in Sri Lanka, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

IOM said it would seek funding from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, and the intervention would help an estimated 74,750 people.

Heavy flooding, landslides and flash floods have affected some 684,000 people in south and central Sri Lanka. The flooding, which is believed to be the worst in over a decade, has left at least 212 people dead and 79 missing.

IOM initial rapid assessments conducted last week in some district or Sri Lanka showed that homes and villages swept away by the flood waters and mud slides.

IOM cited Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre figure as saying that over 2,500 houses were destroyed and nearly 15,900 houses damaged.

“These numbers could rise as data from damage assessments is compiled in the coming weeks,” IOM said in a statement issued Tuesday.

According to the UN agency, nearly 22,000 people are still sheltering in some 200 over-crowded “safe sites,” including schools, temples and churches.

Especially in those landslide-affected areas, people currently staying in evacuation centres or with relatives and friends are unlikely to be able to return to their homes in the short term, IOM said.

“People will need shelter and other non-food relief items (when they leave the sites) and we will need to ensure that aid is distributed at the location most useful and appropriate for each affected family,” said IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Giuseppe Crocetti.

Earlier on June 2, the UN Humanitarian Country Team launched an Emergency Response Plan seeking 22.7 million U.S. dollars to address the critical life-saving and protection needs of 374,000 people in seven districts, targeting four priority sectors, including shelter, food, health and water and sanitation.

The IOM said it is already supporting the Sri Lanka government and humanitarian agencies with displacement tracking maps generated from its monitoring system updates.

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