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Friday, 22 May 2009

UnitingWorld responds to crisis in Sri Lanka

UnitingWorld has today launched an emergency appeal to respond to the ‘humanitarian crisis’ unfolding in Sri Lanka.

This appeal is in response to desperate pleas for assistance from Uniting Church partners in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Uniting Church members following the recent military victory over the LTTE.

Within the Church, Tamil and Sinhalese members have spoken of their anguish at the situation of their families and friends, many of whom remain in camps short of food, water and shelter.  They have called on the Church to act in support and have sought peace within a divided Australian community.

UnitingWorld has sent an initial $25k for immediate relief and kept in regular contact with Sri Lanka partners throughout the war assuring them of the Uniting Church’s prayers and concern.

These funds will provide essential food and equipment packs, pastoral support and medical supplies. We are also seeking to establish emergency accommodation to provide a day care service, meals, counselling and equipment to displaced communities.

Relief and Development Associate Director Rob Floyd says "Supplies will provide for approximately 4500 people for the next one to two weeks but continued uncertainty means that more assistance is urgently needed’. UNICEF currently estimates that over a quarter of a million Sri Lankans are now in camps for people displaced by the fighting.

UnitingWorld commends the Australian government’s approach and encourages it to continue to respond to the humanitarian crisis and influence the Sri Lankan government to act justly towards the Tamil community.

UnitingWorld Associate Director for Asia, John Barr says “The Sri Lankan Government needs immediately to allow humanitarian agencies access to restricted regions so relief can be provided.  Over the longer term, the Government must find a political solution to the crisis.”

Donations can be made to UnitingWorld
Online www.unitingworld.org.au
Call 1800 998 122
Via mail PO Box A2266 Sydney South 1235.


 

UnitingWorld is available for further comment.
Please contact Amy Goodhew, Communication Coordinator, 02 8267 4269 for media enquiries.