First time aid in ten days to Jaffna-ICRC

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 August 2006, 05:35 GMT]
A ship sailing under the flag of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) finally left the port of Colombo Tuesday heading to Jaffna. "The ship contains urgently needed relief to the displaced and resident population of the Jaffna peninsula," said Mr.Vanderhove, ICRC Head of delegation in Colombo, according to a press release issued by the ICRC Wednesday evening.

The food and medicine are provided by the Sri Lankan Government and the World Food Programme (WFP) and total 1,500 metric tons. The food consists of rice, dhal, sugar, beans, and tinned fish. The ICRC is shipping 810 hygiene kits and other supplies. The vessel is expected to reach Jaffna in the coming days.

Both parties to the conflict have provided security guarantees for the ship and the cargo, the press release added.

Since renewed fighting broke out on the peninsula some ten days ago. Jaffna is currently cut off by land and by sea, disrupting the life of the people already affected by the conflict." The ICRC hopes that access to Jaffna by humanitarian actors will be more regular in the coming weeks, should the current difficult situation on the ground prevail," said the ICRC press release.

The ICRC maintains an office in Jaffna with 46 staff, the release adds.


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