Top UN official visits flood affected areas amid aid appeal
Last Updated: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 23:35
Colombo: A top UN official on Thursday traveled to the flood affected areas in Sri Lanka's north and east for a first hand assessment of the devastation, as the world body launched a funding drive for the victims in the region once the heartland of the LTTE-led civil war.

Catherine Bragg, the visiting UN. Assistant Secretary-General & Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, traveled to flood affected areas in Sri Lanka's north and east to assess the situation, officials said.

She is on a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka to get a first hand assessment of the devastation caused by flood which destroyed or damaged more than 28,000 houses and affected more than a million people.

Bragg flew to northern district of Mulathivu, a former battle zone between the now defeated LTTE and government forces, to witness the destruction caused by recent floods which killed at least 43.

She is also scheduled to travel to eastern province, the worst affected by the floods.

The United Nations has already made an appeal to raise USD 51 million for immediate relief for flood victims.

"This appeal seeks USD 51 million to enable international partners to support the government in addressing the needs of more than one million flood-affected people over the next six months," the UN said in a statement yesterday.

"The appeal will be revised within the next month to reflect needs as the situation evolves, and as the results of in-depth assessments become available," the UN said.

"I hope donors will respond rapidly to help the survivors of these devastating floods, which have hit many people who were desperately vulnerable to begin with," the UN statement quoted Bragg as saying.

"These floods are an enormous and tragic setback for a community that is slowly rebuilding their lives following the 2004 tsunami and recovering from the decades-long conflict," she said.

Bragg also met UN agency and government officials as well as teams working to clear land mines left from the ethnic conflict.


First Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 23:35

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