11-17 March 2005
The Mid-term Review of the Flash Appeal was approved by the Country Teamand the final draft was submitted to Geneva on 16 March. Several further killings have recently occurred among the LTTE and rivalTamil factions, as well as attacks on Muslims in the east. The LTTEpolitical office in Batticaloa was attacked with a hand grenade on 14March. Disturbances have occurred in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloaamidst various protests and strikes.
Coordination and common services
The UN Interagency Working Group on Communications is currently undertakinga survey of a sample population of 2,500 people in nine Sri Lankanprovinces to determine their sources of news and information. The missionof the Interagency Working Group on Communications is to coordinate andshare information, to strengthen inter agency collaboration and tofacilitate the promotion of the UN system, its aims and objectives in SriLanka.
In the light of an expected bumper rice harvest in Sri Lanka, the Ministryof Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation, with WFP, has endorsed apilot project for food aid beneficiaries to receive cash-in-lieu-of-rice.The project will commence in mid April. The cash-in-lieu of rice projectwill initially target general food aid recipients and later includevulnerable group feeding (VGF). The project is expected to last throughmid-August. FAO has started a joint-working group with the relevant ministries ofgovernment that will concentrate on the rehabilitation of forestry and ofthe coastal environment damaged by the tsunami. Two other joint-workinggroups with the government are already operational, one on agriculture and livestock and the other on fisheries.
UNICEF has recently assisted in the renovation of the children's ward ofthe Mutthur District Hospital in Trincomalee and in repairs to the primary health care centre in Vadamarachchi East.
The UN agence has also provided funding for the renovation of the antenatal care and well baby clinics at Peripheral Unit Pallai -- a health facility that provides critical care for people housed in the transit camps of the area - and funding to increase staff capacity for accommodating an increased caseload at the female wardat the District Hospital in Killinochchi.
Water and Sanitation
The Divisional Secretariat in Point Pedro is serving as implementing partner with the support of UNICEF in the construction of water and sanitation facilities in four of the 18 transit camps. The actual construction is being undertaken by the local cooperative societies of fishermen.
Non-food items and shelter
Tens of thousands of t-shirts, dresses and underwear provided by UNICEF arebeing dispatched to districts this week for distribution to children aged 1to 16. In addition to the clothing, cooking sets, lanterns, mosquito netsand household water purification tablets are being supplied. Additional relief supplies are gradually clearing customs. UNICEF reported that four gully bowsers, 500 tents and 10 Landcruisers were among items it had released from customs at the end of last week. A quantity of other goods, including adult hygiene kits, clothing, and household items have also been cleared. Among UNICEF items still in the seaport are 124 motorbikes, five vans, an ambulance ,11 other vehicles and 1,500 tents.
IOM's Colombo procurement unit is in the process of procuring and delivering a range of materials needed to construct transitional accommodation units, including timber, roofing, cement, welded mesh, hardboard for partitioning and door and window hard wares. The first shipments of cement and timber was just received by IOMs Trincomalee and Batticaloa field offices. Fourteen locally designed transitional accommodations, a community centre and a recreational area have been completed by IOM on a site in Vatavan, Batticaloa district. Construction on an additional 116 such transitiona laccommodations has just begun. IOM has also constructed another 80 locallydesigned transitional accommodations in Ullae, Ampara district with 19 more currently under construction. Four locations in Galle District -- Walauwatta, Sibalagahawatta, Katugodaand Magalle -which were heavily damaged by the tsunami have been selected for repair and reconstruction activities supported by UNHABITAT and UNDP. Some 250 tsunami-affected houses are being reconstructed and livelihood schemes developed with financial support from the Japanese Government. Alocal NGO, the Arthachrya Foundation, is ensuring the participation of the local community and facilitating communication between them and local authorities. UNDP's "Urban Governance Support Project" is assisting in the community empowerment aspects, information gathering and processing and capacity building.
In Matara district, IOM is assisting 100 families, including single headedhouseholds, develop their sewing industry. The families are being provided sewing machines and raw materials for initial production and advanced training in sewing techniques.