Colombo: A senior UN envoy arrived in Sri Lanka Wednesday to assess the humanitarian needs of victims of last week`s floods and of refugees displaced by its civil war, officials said.
Assistant Secretary General Catherine Bragg planned to assess the needs of about 20,000 war refugees still living in government-run camps in the north as well as those who have returned to their villages after the civil war ended in May 2009 with the government`s defeat of separatist Tamil rebels.
An estimated 300,000 people were displaced in the final phase of the military operations that ended the war.
The Indian government pledged to construct 50,000 houses for the refugees, but a pilot project of 1,000 houses commenced only late last year.
Bragg would also visit the Eastern Province, where floods hit last week.
More than 1 million people were affected and 43 were killed in floods and landslides that also hit the central part of the country.
The government estimated that more than 4,000 houses were destroyed, 20,000 damaged and more than 160,000 hectares of agricultural land swamped. Officials warned of food shortages and rising prices.