World Vision: $3 million needed to prevent monsoon season catastrophe in Sri Lanka

The Christian humanitarian organization World Vision is warning of an impending catastrophe on the Indian Ocean island nation of Sri Lanka with the upcoming monsoon season. Estimates of refugees from the recently concluded civil war have ranged between 200,000 and 300,000 people. Diarrhea, cholera, malaria and dengue fever are all waterborne diseases accelerated by poor sanitation, and all could soon become major issues in Sri Lanka. “We are very worried about the outbreak of diseases,” said Suresh Bartlett, World Vision’s national director in Sri Lanka. “When the rains come in two weeks or so I can’t imagine what conditions will be like due to the lack of any proper drainage and toilet system.” World Vision estimates 11,500 latrines are needed before the monsoons hit to prevent a health crisis, 7,500 of which need to be installed immediately. World Vision has supplied 5 million liters of water within the past six weeks, provided shelter, distributed 100,000 packs of cooked food and 60 metric tons of food to communal kitchens. Most of those resources have been exhausted, the organization said. The agency needs an additional $3 million to support a scaled up response in the camps. “I urge the international community to give freely,” said Bartlett. “There are so many crises in the world at this time, but the needs of those who have survived the conflict are extreme. After surviving such a violent conflict, it would be extremely unfortunate for the children and babies to now succumb to disease.” Links: Refugee population worldwide spiking upward: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/06/16/world.refugees.report/ World Vision: http://www.worldvision.org/

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