By Shezna Shums
The Government has allocated Rs. 1 billion for food items in the event of further disaster striking the people.
The Ministry of Disaster Management with the approval of the Treasury and the Ministry of Internal Administration has issued a special circular relevant for January and February of this year and specifically applicable to those affected by the disaster.
This circular states that Rs 340 million has been allocated for disaster relief purposes, while a further Rs 5.4 million has been earmarked for further relief in case a need arises.
A total of Rs. 50 million has been allocated for school uniforms and clothes, home utensils and school supplies.
The circular lists the districts and the nature of the problems in detail. It states that regardless of an affected person’s age, income or status, he or she will be allocated Rs. 200 worth of a cooked food per day.
The Divisional Secretariat has been instructed to provide cooked food for three days to the affected, irrespective of whether they are in IDP camps, their homes or living with relatives. In case there is a need to provide food in excess of the stipulated number of days the approval of the District Secretary would be necessary.
The District Secretariats have been instructed to provide dry rations adequate for one week, with the proviso that dry rations for over one week could be provided if there is a need.
The circular also sets down the family category and the maximum amount of money to be allocated for a few days following a disaster.
For a family of one or two persons the maximum to be paid as relief will be Rs. 500 for a week.
A family of three to four persons will be given a maximum of Rs. 750 a week and a family of five or more members will receive a maximum of Rs. 1000 a week.
For those whose livelihoods have also been destroyed owing to the floods and landslide, the government will provide support to restart their occupation.
To re-cultivate land devastated by floods a maximum of Rs.500 per person is to be paid for four days.
The field officers attached to the Divisional Secretariat will have to coordinate with the farmers to carry work out this scheme. This new circular is applicable to other government agents’ divisions too.
The new circular it was said was issued with the approval of the Treasury Fund of the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs.
The Treasury which has already released Rs. 350 million to the District Secretaries through the Ministry of Disaster Management for flood relief purposes is to allocate a further Rs.500 million for the issue of provisions as required.
Flood relief has been already released to the districts on the following basis:
Batticaloa - Rs. 100 million, Ampara - Rs.50.5 million, Trincomalee - Rs. 43 million, Vavuniya - Rs. 33 million, Polonnaruwa - Rs. 23.8 million, Mannar - Rs.17.1 million, Mullaitivu - Rs.6.4 million, Kilinochchi - Rs.5 milion, and Jaffna - Rs.1.6 million, Matale - Rs,10.5 million, Nuwara Eliya - Rs. 4.5 million, Kandy - Rs.3.8 million, Badulla - Rs.23 million, and Moneragala - Rs. 3.2 million.
In addition over Rs. 1 million each has been allocated to the Matara, Hambantota and Kegalle districts.
In addition to the aforesaid provision granted to facilitate the disaster stricken general public, another Rs. 210 million has been released by the General Treasury to grant relief in the form of a salary advance to disaster stricken public servants.
“All the financial requirements requested by the Ministry of Disaster Management and District Secretaries have been fulfilled by the General Treasury already and further steps have also been taken to accede to future requests of the Districts Secretaries and the Ministry of Disaster Management” stated the Ministry of Finance and Planning on Tuesday ( 8).