The floods in Sri Lanka haven’t been in the media spotlight in the UK, but they’ve affected more than a million people and forced at least 300,000 to flee their homes.
At least 43 people were killed by the floods that hit in January, and roads, houses and vast swathes of farmland were destroyed. Many of the worst hit areas were previously affected by the 2004 tsunami or by the long-running civil war.
“We supported our partner Caritas Sri Lanka in providing emergency relief, and they also made sure that aid donated locally went to people of all ethnic backgrounds,” says CAFOD’s Lucy Morris. “It’s been heart-warming to see Sri Lankans putting aside their differences and sending whatever they could afford.”
But the crisis may not yet be over. Some areas have been hit by a third wave of flooding, forcing returning families to flee their homes once again. And the damage to farmland will have long-term consequences: a poor harvest is likely to lead to higher food prices and will mean that many farmers struggle to earn an income in the months ahead.
We have pledged more than £80,000 to help our partners provide emergency relief, including food, clean water and other vital supplies – and we will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks.