PC authorities to monitor IDP supplies

Camps closure deadline extended
By Chris Kamalendran

The government has decided to set a new deadline to close down camps for the internally displaced people in Vavuniya while provision of facilities such as nutritious food and sanitary items are to be stopped.

Resettlement Ministry Secretary U.L.M. Halaldeen said yesterday that they would launch a rapid resettlement process from Tuesday but the date for the new deadline had not yet been fixed. Earlier the government had set a deadline of December 31 last year but the process was delayed mainly due to the presidential election campaign.

The Secretary said some IDPs would be resettled in Kilinochchi on Tuesday and the ministry was awaiting mine-clearance certificates to resettle people in Mullaitivu East.

However, he said the government had decided to stop the supply of nutritious food and sanitary facilities to the IDPs at camps in Vavuniya. The responsibility of looking after the IDPs would now be handed over to provincial health authorities in the north. Earlier, the supply of nutritious food for malnourished children and expectant mothers was carried out under the direct supervision of the Health Ministry.

At present, there are nearly 80,000 displaced people in six zones in Menik Farm. Only temporary hospitals are set up in the camps and medical officers do not visit these hospitals regularly.

According to health officers based in Menik Farm the decision to stop the supply of sanitary items might directly affect the health conditions of the IDPs.

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