World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Sri Lanka: UN Calls For Aid Access

Sri Lanka: UN Agency Calls On Both Sides Of Conflict To Allow Urgent Aid To Get Through

Aid workers need access to deliver vital humanitarian supplies to thousands of Sri Lankan civilians who are running short of water and food after their communities were cut off by fighting between the Government and separatist Tamil Tigers, the United Nations refugee agency warned today.

“We and our partners are now seriously concerned about the welfare of civilians in areas inaccessible to humanitarian agencies because of strictly enforced travel restrictions, as fighting continues in the north and east,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR><"ῤ34d2">UNHCR) spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told reporters in Geneva.

“UNHCR calls on the Sri Lankan Government and the rebel Tamil Tigers, or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), urgently to allow access for humanitarian aid workers so vital supplies can reach those in need, and to permit freedom of movement to all affected populations.”

With the closure of the A9 access road to the Jaffna peninsula through LTTE-controlled Kilinochchi District, supplies of food and water have fallen to alarmingly low levels in many locations, Ms. Pagonis said, adding this has also led to people hoarding food and merchants sharply hiking prices.

Some 15,000 to 20,000 people are now said to be displaced in Kilinochchi as a result of repeated artillery shelling and air strikes, and aid agencies are targeting their help to those displaced people – some 9,500 individuals – living outdoors or in communal buildings.

Coordinating its response with other groups, UNHCR has already distributed emergency relief items – kitchen utensils, pots and pans, towels, bed sheets, jerry cans, tarpaulins, mats, laundry soap and personal soap – to about 1,500 families there, giving priority to the most vulnerable people. But the agency has limited supplies because of the road restrictions.

Eastern districts face a similar crisis, with thousands of displaced families in Muttur, Eachchilampattu Divisions of Trincomalee District, and Vaharai Division in Batticaloa District, in desperate need of sustained humanitarian relief.

Since fighting flared up again in April, more than 162,200 people have fled their homes but remained within Sri Lanka, while 6,672 have crossed the Palk Strait to become refugees in India's Tamil Nadu state.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC