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Weekly food convoys to Wanni

Govt targets buffer stock for Wanni civilians:

Geneva: The Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance Chairman and Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday addressing the UNHCR’s 49th Executive Committee session in Geneva, the Government has committed itself to sending a convoy of trucks into uncleared areas of the Wanni every week, until a target of 5,000 metric tonnes of supplies which represents roughly two to three months buffer stocks is met.

”This is to ensure uninterrupted supplies in the districts of Killinochchi and Mullaitivu . At the moment our priority is to ensure food supplies.Other non food will also be sent in the ensuing weeks ,” said Minister Samarasinghe.

”This is in addition to 15 to 20 trucks sent to the Wanni on daily basis by the Government with consumer goods, food items , animal feed, fertiliser and kerosene,” he said.

He said, the Government has positioned contingency plans to maintain emergency stocks of food supplies to be given to those in need , wherever they may be located.

The Government’s strategy has ensured that there will be no food shortage in the Wanni.

He called the international community to assist the Government in its efforts to develop cleared areas.

Referring to the Government’s policy in relation to the IDP’s , Samarasinghe said, ‘the Government seeks and receives the cooperation of the UN,

ICRC and other agencies to help us in providing humanitarian assistance to the the internally displaced and other affected civilians, as President Mahinda Rajapaksa outlined it recently at the UN General Assembly in New York,

Mahinda Samarasinghe said, the Government was able to resettle 95 per cent of IDPs after liberating the East in their original residences in line with international standards in June, 2007. The number of those resettled was nearly 172,000.

”The Government faced many challenges before resettling them after the liberation of the East as demining on a vast scale had to take place, subject to UN verification, basic infrastructure had to be provided, the Government administration had to be reinstated, and law and order had to be established, he said.

”The Government has initiated the process of de-mining in the liberated areas of Mannar and we are hopeful that expeditious resettlements will follow, he said and added, “the examples I have mentioned are indicative of the Government’s intentions for the Wanni and its people.

”The Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA), has been instrumental in facilitating humanitarian relief to conflict affected persons.

As you may be aware, recently due to the safety and security of all humanitarian workers, the Government asked all humanitarian agencies to relocate themselves from uncleared parts of the Wanni to Vavuniya where we have established a humanitarian hub to assist IDPs, the Minister said.



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