© UNICEF/HQ06-1603/Noorani

Sapna (right) and her brother live in a makeshift camp for conflict-displaced people in North-Eastern Province in Sri Lanka. Sapna would like to go to school but feels safer in the camp. “I also want to live,” she said.


The resurgence of conflict in Sri Lanka since April 2006 has severely impacted the well-being and livelihood of children and women, particularly in the North and East of the country. As of September 2007, some 190,000 people remain displaced due to the conflict (excluding another 200,000 tsunami-displaced) and some 100,000 have been resettled. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among under-five children in parts of conflict-affected Batticaloa and Jaffna districts is 6 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively (2007), while the country prevalence is 2.5 per cent (Demographic and Health Survey 2000). Access to potable water and to safe sanitation stands at 79 per cent and 76 per cent respectively, for the entire population. However, in some conflict-affected districts, sanitation coverage is as low as 30 per cent (2007). More than a quarter of a million primary school-aged children are partially and/or completely out of the education system. The resumption of open fighting has increased the risk of underage recruitment by armed groups and other child rights’ violations related to conflict. Displacement and pervasive indiscriminate violence, including claymore attacks, landmines/unexploded ordnance and aerial bombings have resulted in a climate of fear and significant disparity in vulnerable areas.


UNICEF-assisted humanitarian response is expected to reach 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the conflict, resettled populations and host communities in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

Health and nutrition: UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment to 90 health centres; facilitate mobile clinic services; provide 387,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to same number of households; support 96 therapeutic feeding centres; and train 380 health staff on the treatment of severe malnutrition.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: UNICEF will construct/rehabilitate new and existing infrastructures to provide 150,000 resettled and displaced persons with safe water and sanitation facilities; train community water supply management teams on water and sanitation technical assessments; and promote hygiene awareness programmes in resettled areas and IDP camps.

Education: A total of 200,000 displaced and war-affected children and 2,500 teachers will benefit from basic school materials and recreational kits. UNICEF will train primary school teachers; rehabilitate schools; and construct 50 temporary learning spaces, including water and sanitation facilities, to provide 7,500 children with continued access to a safe learning environment.

Child protection: UNICEF will support up to 1,500 children released by armed groups with care and reintegration activities; work with partners to support communities develop local responses to protection, including registration of separated children and tracing and reunification of children with their families; strengthen the response to grave violations of child rights, including through an enhanced monitoring mechanism in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1612; provide psychosocial and mine-risk education programmes to some 250,000 children and their families who have been directly affected by the conflict.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008


Health and nutrition 2,500,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 2,000,000
Education 2,800,000
Child protection 2,000,000
Total* 9,300,000

* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.


Sorry, the news reader is experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later.