According to the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka, more than 698,000 people (179,376 families) have been affected by severe flooding in Sri Lanka. Over 25,200 people have been displaced and are being accommodated in temporary shelters, such as schools and community centres.
Electricity, water and telecommunications have been severely damaged and over 330,000 people are without basic infrastructure. Schools in affected districts are currently closed.
“We have reports that 10,368 people in 2,409 families have been affected in Hamabantota district, where ChildFund Alliance is active,” said Meg Gardiner, Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance. “We are planning to respond in Galle, one of the the hardest-hit districts, where children and families are in dire need of assistance.”
ChildFund is the co-leader, with Save the Children, for the child protection group, which is a sub-group under the protection sector led by UNICEF. We will launch a 60-day response program to provide child protection in selected areas in the Galle district.
“We will provide child-centred spaces (CCS) and protection services aimed at providing psychosocial support for affected children until they recover from the immediate shock and trauma,” said Gardinier. “ChildFund will operate six to eight CCS, which will serve at least 600 children. Two partner organizations, one in Hambantota and one in Puttalam, have had comprehensive training and experience and are ready to support the CCS operations should that be required.”
ChildFund and its partners will also work with community leaders to activate community-based child protection mechanisms.
If the flood waters recede quickly and a CCS approach is not the most appropriate approach, ChildFund Alliance will look at training and support to schools in child safe-guarding and strengthening community-based child protection mechanisms.
ChildFund is also working in collaboration with ADRA and Muslim Aid, which already have active response operations underway in Galle District.