Thursday, May 20, 2010

Caritas joins flood response in Sri Lanka

Caritas has joined with government and civil organizations in providing aid to victims of floods that have lashed the country since May 14.
According to the government-run Disaster Management Center, more than 450,000 have been displaced in 11 districts, 17 persons have died and three are missing.
Many roads, including highways in Colombo, have been submerged resulting in traffic chaos.
Caritas-Sethsarana, the social action arm of Colombo archdiocese, has distributed food to victims, as well as provided a lifeboat and medical service to them.
“We are helping about 20,000 flood families in the Western Province at the moment,” said assistant director Father Lawrence Ramanayake,
“Our operation is conducted through the parish priests of the affected areas. “They organize people to cook and distribute food to victims,” Father Ramanayake said.
Caritas-Sethsarana has allocated about 500,000 rupees (US$5,000) for immediate relief aid and also “sent a doctor to help victims,” said the priest.
In Galle diocese in the southern part of the country, 250 families are facing severe problems, said Father Damian Arsakularatne, director of Caritas-Galle.
“Measures have been taken to provide immediate aid including cooked meals to families affected by the floods,” he said.
Father George Sigamoney, national director of Caritas, said the organization is collecting information from all affected dioceses to better assist people in need.
The government has also allocated 8 million rupees for relief aid, and said it will give financial assistance to victims.

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