US to provide Rs350mn flood relief to Sri Lanka
ECONOMYNEXT – United States has announced 350 million rupees of flood aid to Sri Lanka after more than 200 people died in landslides and around half a million people were left homeless.
The US assistance will help provide safe drinking water, hygiene kits, emergency shelter, home repair kits and health care services.
"Americans and Sri Lankans have shared a deep bond throughout the history of our two countries," Ambassador Keshap said after meeting President Maithripala Sirisena.
"The people of both countries have always stood side-by-side in times of need."
The assistance will be provided through the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US embassy in Colombo said.
Since 2001, OFDA has provided about 19 billion rupees (125 million US dollar) in disaster assistance and disaster risk reduction to Sri Lanka.
A portion of the assistance will be provided through Sarvodaya, a Sri Lankan charity.
Disaster experts from OFDA and the Civil-Military Support Element (CMSE) attached to the U.S Embassy are helping organize U.S. response efforts, conducting damage assessments with Sri Lanka to evaluated needs on the ground.
US Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and the Embassy’s Pacific Command (PACOM) Augmentation Team are cleaning and repairing flood damage at schools in the Kalutara district.
Families of the U.S. Embassy community have also provided personal donations to Sri Lanka Unites, a youth-led organization.
USAID has provided disaster-resilient water systems to ensure safe drinking water, developed flash flood warning systems, and worked with government and local communities to strengthen disaster response and management capacity.
Since 2011 the US Embassy has given 2.3 billion rupees ($15 million) to construct new facilities in schools and health care centers that serve as temporary shelter for those displaced by natural disasters, embassy said.