World Vision Cooperating with Sri Lanka Government to Provide Relief

In coordination with government authorities, one of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world is planning to complete the distributions of household items to 2,500 families in Sri Lanka’s tsunami-hit district of Kalutara over the coming week. A meeting was held last week with President Kumaratunge to discuss World Vision's long-term plans in Kalutara district, where more than 27,700 people are reportedly displaced.

“Our first plan, as requested by President Kumaratunge herself, is to construct 2,000 permanent homes for IDPs, most of who are living in 16 welfare centers,” said Andrew Sundersingh, World Vision Sri Lanka's relief operations head.

He said World Vision would be taking a holistic approach to the rehabilitation work.

Also, according to the Sundersingh, World Vision will also be repairing 1,133 partially damaged houses in the district while other activities include the provision of school uniforms and other school materials for tsunami-affected children, the repair and reconstruction of damaged school buildings, and the maintenance of the temporary welfare centers housing IDPs. World Vision Sri Lanka will repair more than 50 school buildings.

On Feb. 4, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse took part in relief distribution with World Vision.

At the ceremony, the Prime Minister also unveiled the government's first memorial for tsunami victims. The names of the deceased will soon be etched on the memorial.

Meanwhile, World Vision finished up three weeks of relief distributions in the district of Matara last week, reaching 12,000 families left homeless by the tsunami.

Prasad Kirihena, the coordinator of World Vision's relief activities in the district, said more than US$269,000 had been spent to provide the relief aid to 12,000 families. The supplies included kitchen utensils, clothes and dry ration food, distributed over a period of three weeks.

The coordinator said World Vision had also supplied hired vehicles to the Department of Health Services, which were being used to carry out mobile health clinics in welfare centers. In addition to this, undergarments and sanitary towels were supplied to the Matara Base Hospital.