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Sri Lankan Civil War Ends

  • May 19, 2009

Displaced Families Still Cannot Go Home

The civil war between Sri Lanka’s government forces and Tamil militants is finally over. Yet more than 250,000 people remain refugees despite the official end of Asia’s longest-running war. To help support health care for displaced families, AmeriCares recently delivered nearly $500,000 worth of medicines and medical supplies.

AmeriCares relief workers on the ground paint a picture of a true humanitarian crisis among survivors of the conflict.

“We are working closely with the Ministry of Health to determine how we may provide more assistance,” reported Lisa Hilmi, AmeriCares Sri Lanka Country Director.

Many of the people who need medical help are women and children. Maternity kits, antibiotics and bandages are among the medical aid being distributed. Hygiene products and other humanitarian relief will also be distributed in the former conflict zone.

AmeriCares has worked extensively in Sri Lanka since the tsunami in 2004. This year, a donation of 21,000 surgical scrub brushes were distributed to hospitals around the country and are being used during surgery on many of the people wounded the war.

Many of the areas on the eastern coast that were devastated by the tsunami have also been impacted by the conflict and have provided refuge for families fleeing the war zone.  In 2007 and 2008, AmeriCares supported a project aimed at strengthening the health care systems for 50,000 people in this area. AmeriCares also assisted displaced families in 2006 and 2007 with the distribution of hygiene products and dry food items, when over 70,000 were affected by conflict.

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