|NORTHERN IDPS: GOVERNMENT ENSURES FOOD, MEDICINE|
|Wednesday, 25 February 2009|
The Government has ensured an uninterrupted supply of food, medicine and non-food items to those who have been displaced in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts for the past few years in spite of various attempts by the LTTE to disrupt the process by attacking food convoys.
There hasn’t been any situation of famine or infectious diseases to have manifested throughout the process, sources at the Essential Services Commissioner’s Department said.
Besides sending essential food and consumer items to the public in the North , the Government has taken action to send 450,000 litres of kerosene , 3,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer. It has sent 75,486 metric tonnes of food items to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu for the period between August 2006 to January 2009, Commissioner General of Essential Services S.B.Divaratna said.
“The food items were sent by the Government and the World Health Organization,” he said.
The Health Ministry has provided necessary stocks of medicine and essential medical services to the two districts without ceasing. All Government allocations of funds for the two districts have been used to provide these items and services, he said.
The government has borne the expenditure to maintain the civil administration in the districts while bearing the costs of hospital services and other services, he said.
With the Government deciding to step up its humanitarian operations in the Northeast to liberate the public from the clutches of the LTTE in September 2008, it allowed World Health Organisation to establish a food warehouse in Vavuniya. The UN too has been facilitated to store their items in the premises, he said.
The WHO warehouse has the capacity to accommodate a storage of 3000 to 4000 metric tonnes of food items.
The number of lorries that have been registered with the security forces, to transport these goods to those who need them is 450. Action was taken to face any potential emergency that could arise under the circumstances to ensure maximum food security of the civilians in the two districts on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said.
A Committee was appointed by the President with Presidential Advisor and MP Basil Rajapaksa as its head to oversee the smooth flow of distribution of food and aid to the public, he explained.
The World Health Organization has sent food items, including flour, vegetable oil and cereals, 7,600 metric tonnes of them to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu for the period between October 2008 to January 2009 under this program, he said.
When there was a delay by the WHO to distribute these items following an LTTE attack on their convoys in October last year steps were taken by the Essential Services Commissioner’s Department to send food items weighing 350 metric tonnes to the civilians after purchasing them from Vavuniya at a cost of Rs.50 million on the advice of Basil Rajapaksa, the sources said.
The Essential Services Commissioner’s Department is also maintaining buffer stocks of essential items to be distributed to the civilians.
When the LTTE attempted to cause a severe hunger and starvation and a shortage of medical supplies in the Vanni, the Government took steps to introduce a special program to ensure the food security of the civilians by using boats to transport the goods with the participation of the Red Cross, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2009 )|
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