Colombo: The United Nations urged the
international community on Thursday to continue helping
war-displaced Sri Lankans, saying the current period is
critical and an additional USD 165 million in funding is
Nearly 3,00,000 ethnic Tamils were held in camps in
the country`s north for months following the government`s
defeat of Tamil Tigers rebels last year, ending 25 years of
civil war. The government says most have now been released and
resettled in their villages.
The UN says about 2,00,000 people have returned to
their villages in the former war zone and another 70,000
remain displaced or are in transit sites near their home
areas, with less than 35,000 still in emergency sites.
"The job is not yet done. It is still a critical
period and we ask for your continued support to meet the
remaining crucial needs," Neil Buhne, the UN resident
coordinator in Sri Lanka, told a meeting of donors.
In a UN statement issued today, Buhne stressed that
the effectiveness of assistance during this period would
affect war-displaced people as well as Sri Lanka`s overall
"The welfare of the returned people is an important
element in reconciliation, and ultimately, sustainable peace
and development," he said.
"Although generous donations of about USD 125
million have made these response operations possible, USD 165
million more is needed to cover gaps for activities planned by
the UN and humanitarian organizations during the remainder of
2010 in support of the national programs," the statement said.
It noted that returned persons need support until
their livelihoods are restored.
"There are shortfalls for all sectors, but the
largest are for work on economic recovery and infrastructure,
water and sanitation, agriculture and health," the statement