Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe discussing the flood situation in Kilinochchi, flanked by Public Administration and Disaster Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara, and Industry and Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons and Co-operative Development Minister Rishad Bathiudeen
- Says all efforts will be made to assist people and disburse funds needed for recovery
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday assured necessary funds would be disbursed to the flood-affected people in the north and said steps would be taken to suspend payments of loans taken by people that were displaced by floods.
Wickremesinghe made these statements at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat when officials met to discuss what steps could be taken to assist those affected in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.
Each family is to receive Rs. 10,000 as initial assistance and following the meeting, several families received their cash as a symbolic gesture, a statement from the Prime Minister’s media said.
Wickremesinghe also visited a nearby school that had been converted into a camp for those displaced by floods, and distributed dry rations, clothes and other needs to some of the people.
“The floods in this region have affected about 38,000 families. Since Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu are two regions that have high levels of poverty and are underdeveloped, the impact has been severe. We have given directives to stop taking loan payments from these people, especially those that are levied on a daily basis, till the families have recovered,” Wickremesinghe said.
He also thanked officials and others who assisted in the rescue process, and provided shelter and other services to the people during the floods.
Five districts in the North have been affected by flash floods caused by excessive rainfall in the area since 21 December, with Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Jaffna being the worst affected. Over 86,531 people of 27,625 families have been affected from by flash floods, with over 100 houses fully damaged, and over 1,200 more houses sustaining partial damage.
The National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) has already released close to Rs. 80 million to the Ministry of Disaster Management to provide emergency relief to the displaced persons in the Northern Province, and to pay advances for the damaged houses. These funds have been provided under the National Natural Disaster Insurance Scheme (NNDIS) operated by the NITF.
Government will launch a special program to help coordinate the recovery efforts in the Northern flood-affected communities, utilising resources available to the Local Government authorities in the south to expedite the clearance work, in a bid to help the affected communities return to normalcy as fast as possible.