Focus shifts to mid-to-long term recovery, reconstruction

The Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs is currently carrying out a needs assessment to plan for mid-to-long term recovery, reconstruction and development programs.

The United Nations office in Colombo said that initial estimates indicate that priority areas include the implementation of mitigation and prevention programmes, the reconstruction of housing, roads and schools, and the renovation of electricity and water networks.

As of 8 June (1200hrs, UTC+5:30), an estimated 603,000 people are affected in 12 districts. A total of 212 deaths have been confirmed and 78 people remain missing. Over 3,000 houses have been destroyed and 20,285 are partially damaged.

DMC also reported a significant decrease in the number of people in safe locations. About 14,655 people remain temporarily displaced in 159 safe locations compared to 72,000 people inside safe locations last week.

The western and eastern coastal areas of Sri Lanka, including districts severely affected by the floods and landslides, will receive below average rainfall in the month of June. The Department of Meteorology forecasts that southern areas including Hambantota, Matale, Moneragala and Badulla are predicted to receive average rainfall for the month.

While average rainfall is beginning to decrease, landslide watch warnings are in effect for Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle, Kalutara,Matara, Hambantota and NuwaraEliyadistricts.

As the situation stabilizes, the Government of Sri Lanka has begun to refocus on relief, recovery and reconstruction in affected areas.

Tri-Forces and other international Search and Rescue teams continue to support people in affected districts whilst other organisations begin to scale back response. Under the Sri Lanka Navy’s North-South Brotherhood program, Navy troops in Jaffna have donated dry rations and drinking water for delivery to the flood and monsoon-affected southern districts.

Civil society continues to provide relief to affected communities through organized and coordinated responses online. The Seals Volunteer Search and Rescue Team (SVERT) coordinated with the Asia-Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD), have ceased daily rescue operations, as have animal rescue teams.

Pledges of support continue to be received from international partners. Bangladesh has committed US$500,000 to the Government of Sri Lanka and is also working to collect medical donations from Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies. To date, over 20 countries have provided assistance through funding or in-kind support.

An Emergency Response Plan has been launched by the UN Humanitarian Country Team (HCT). The Emergency Response Plan (ERP) outlines the support UN agencies and local and international NGOs are aiming to provide to the 374,000 most severely affected people in seven districts: Galle, Gampaha, Hambantota, Kalutara, Kegalle, Matara and Ratnapura.

As of 8 June, a total of 23 agencies are currently implementing health, protection, education, food security, WASH, emergency shelter and NFIs and early recovery activities in nine districts.