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Disease outbreak in Sri Lankan camps imminent

Christian Aid is funding emergency relief for tens of thousands of people forced to live in severely overcrowded, temporary camps in Sri Lanka after fleeing their homes to escape the fighting.

Find out more about Christian Aid's Sri Lanka appeal

But with hundreds of new arrivals flooding into the camps everyday, the camps are ‘an epidemic waiting to happen’, warns Robin Greenwood, the director of Christian Aid’s Asia programme.

'A combination of monsoon rains, poor drainage and over-crowding is the ideal breeding ground for diseases like cholera and typhoid,” warns Mr Greenwood.

'I fear that a disease outbreak in northern Sri Lanka is imminent if the government does not tackle the problem of overcrowding and sanitation.

There are currently 30 people living in tents designed for five people, he added.

'Now that the Sri Lankan government has sovereign control of all of its territory, it must live up to its responsibilities to its citizens and put more into the relief effort,' says Mr Greenwood.

Christian Aid has been working with its local partner organisations to respond to the humanitarian needs of those who have fled the conflict by providing much-needed relief in the camps. Donations are urgently needed to continue this work.

  • £33 could provide ten blankets and mosquito nets for families arriving with nothing.

  • £48 could provide an entire month of specialist medical assistance to injured and sick women and children

  • £125 could pay for nutritious, cooked meals for ten families for a week.  


Notes to editors

For more press information, please contact Florence Mutesasira +353 (0) 1 775 8085, or 086 1609405, or email fmutesasira@christian-aid.org.   

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