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Issues, Status, Options in the Vanni

Mr. Jeevan Thiagarajah, Executive Director Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) Colombo, Sri Lanka


Background • In last 2 decades over 1 million displaced internally and abroad • Est. 88,000 families still need durable solutions • 300,000+ displaced since 2006 – 150,000 in Kilinochchi – 55,000 in Mullaitivu – 5,000 injured transported out

• War has reached a decisive phase


Challenges • IDPs require short-term assistance and future aid in phases of their displacement • Building confidence for investments and financing • Infusing hope amongst IDPs • Better access to supplies and exit strategies in the safe zone • Emergency and transitional shelter • Risk of disease, severe malnutrition, psychosocial/trauma issues • Total disruption of daily life


UNOSAT Images from Safe Zone


The Current Crisis • Personal Reflections


IDP Camps


Taking Refuge


Offloading IDP Camps in Vavuniya • • • • • •

Overcrowding; issues of risk; regaining dignity Scale up Mannar and Jaffna operations Open Vavuniya North for resettlement Balance between security and freedom of movement Contamination of land Understand skills and full recovery plans for affected families – Rations – Livelihoods – INGO Support


Point of Crisis • These are unprecedented challenges • Go beyond any humanitarian disaster – Innovative solutions


Recovery • Issue of sustainability • Focus not only on humanitarian relief, but development as well • During ceasefire period, North & East grew most – 12.6% per annum in North – 10.1% per annum in East – Driven by agriculture (esp. rice); supported by industrial and service sectors – Unemployment in North at 5.8% vs. 8.9% nationwide


This is our chance… • Lack of other alternatives • Current situation provides an opportunity • Requires a strong resolve and a deep sense of personal and shared responsibility • Hope or despair?


Jeevan's AGM Present 2009