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CARE Ramps Up Response in Sri Lanka
Thousands flee conflict, arrive at camps hungry
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - April 24 - CARE is providing lifesaving food, emergency supplies and shelter to thousands of people who have escaped the conflict in northern Sri Lanka. Survivors are dehydrated, hungry and exhausted after being trapped for months.
As many as 70,000 people have managed to escape the conflict zone since April 20, according to the Sri Lankan government. People are fleeing by boat and on land, taking refuge in camps set up by Sri Lanka as the country's army makes its final push against the Tamil Tigers, or LTTE.
CARE is coordinating with the government of Sri Lanka and other aid agencies to provide food and emergency supplies. But with tens of thousands more people escaping the conflict zone, the flow of assistance needs to increase.
CARE staffers are helping the United Nations erect tents for nearly 30,000 displaced people and completing emergency shelters and latrines for an another 3,000. The humanitarian organization also is: providing hot meals, emergency supplies and hygiene kits; building stands for fresh drinking water tanks in the camps; and distributing materials for mothers with infants.
As the flow of survivors increases, CARE is issuing an appeal for funds to provide enough food, emergency supplies, shelter, water and sanitation outside the conflict zone.
CARE calls for the LTTE to allow civilians safe passage out of the conflict zone. Survivors must have access to humanitarian aid.