Growing Insecurity in Sri Lanka

Action Against Hunger Pursues Its Activities Despite Violence

For a month now, incidents of extreme violence have been causing concerns about a resumption of conflict in Sri Lanka. The deterioration of security conditions in the east and north of the country is forcing populations to flee from violence. Day after day, and despite a reduction in humanitarian space, Action Against Hunger continues helping populations who are in need of support more than ever.

Growing Fear of a Return to Civil War

In eastern and northern parts of the country as well as in Colombo, the number of security incidents is constantly growing: the number of attacks, murders, violent demonstrations, violent strikes and bombings are becoming more and more frequent. In the last few days confrontations have concentrated on the peninsula of Jaffna, where many families have fled again, in some cases for the fourth or fifth time in their lives. The situation is extremely unstable and in the northern and eastern provinces incidents occur daily. In the regions of Muthur and Trincomalee, more than 20,000 people are already displaced following the recent events.

In addition to its current programmes in the country, Action Against Hunger is supporting displaced people, distributing drinking water and jerry cans, and building latrines to provide adequate hygiene conditions. While the current problem is primarily a security issue, the humanitarian situation risks deteriorating if the displaced populations cannot return home.

An Increasingly Difficult Humanitarian Intervention

In view of the escalation of violence, access to the most vulnerable populations is becoming substantially more difficult. Movement is restricted and logistical problems are considerable. For example, it takes up to a month for getting a truck to the north of the country. Every day, the possibility of continuing to implement programmes depends on the level of insecurity.

While populations require more assistance, Action Against Hunger teams situated in Trincomalee, Mutur, Kalmunaï, Batticaloa, Jaffna and Colombo are faced with increasing difficulties in working and ensuring the continuity of their programmes. Action Against Hunger highlights that the reduction in humanitarian space compromises access to people in some areas.