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Sri Lanka: ADRA responds in wake of civil war

By Andreas Goelzer - Posted on 03 June 2009

Relief organizations are slowly gaining access to thousands of Sri Lankans displaced during the civil war between Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan government, the New York Times reported. Eleven days after the government declared victory, organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are finally gaining some access to the internally displaced persons camps, according to the Times article.The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the aid organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is getting water trucks and hygiene kits prepared for distribution at displaced person camps, ADRA officials said. "ADRA is well-positioned to provide the assistance that is so desperately needed," said Millie Castillo, public relations and communications officer for ADRA Sri Lanka.ADRA officials said unless unfettered access is given to aid organizations, the humanitarian crisis is expected to worsen in the overcrowded camps housing thousands of internally displaced persons.ADRA will partner with the Adventist International School in Vavuniya and local non-governmental organizations to distribute water and supplies."We have the resources and our equipment is ready. We are just waiting for the door to open," Castillo said.About 280,000 people were forced to flee their homes during the recent fighting, with 230,000 currently living in temporary camps and 50,000 in transition, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.For more information, visit