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Sri Lanka: Armed Conflict

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the humanitarian effects of the conflict in Sri Lanka. (291527)

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) declared victory over the LITE in May 2009. Approximately 270,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) remain in camps in the north and east of the country. Conditions in the camps are basic but have improved as the needs for shelter, food, water and medicine are gradually being met. We remain concerned about high malnutrition levels among sections of the IDP population, the lack of freedom of movement and the restrictions put on activities such as registration of the population and the reunification of families. Recent flooding in the camps following heavy rain highlights the importance of safely returning as many people as possible to their homes before the monsoon season. The Department for International Development (DFID), together with the international community, is participating in contingency planning to mitigate against its effect on the camps.

DFID has allocated £3 million to help the returns process and has recently agreed a grant of £0.5 million to Mine Action Group (MAG) to contribute towards de-mining activities in the Vanni.