Colombo blocks WFP supply ship scheduled to reach Vanni Tuesday
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 April 2009, 17:29 GMT]
Sri Lankan authorities have put off the departure of a ship with WFP supplies scheduled to reach Vanni on Tuesday despite the local civil officials in Vanni indicated the coordinates for the new landing point, Vavuniyaa District Secretariat officials told TamilNet Tuesday evening. Starvation-stricken civilians have long been waiting for humanitarian supplies to arrive and the officials urged the WFP to impress upon the government of Sri Lanka not to delay the humanitarian supply ship, the sources further said.
Meanwhile, the SLA claims to have occupied parts of Puthu-maththa'lan on Tuesday.
However, the makeshift hospital and civil officials had moved to Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal and the infrastructure is continuing to serve the civilians in the south of the so-called safety zone.
On one hand the essential food and other important food items are not available in the District and on the other hand the people do not have income / money to buy the items. Thus, the distribution of food is entirely depending on arrivals of ships and the quantity brought.
According to a request from the District Secretariat of Mullaiththeevu, received by the Country Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) 10 days ago in Colombo, merely 1,000 MT of food supplies, only adequate for one week, were received by the local authorities within the so-called safety zone on 02 April. The request, made on 11 April said 74,634 families consisting of 305,219 persons has urged the WFP to send 3,578 MT of Dry Rations urgently in order to alleviate the hunger of the IDPs.
An earlier situation report, for the month of March, issued by the District Secretariat said that ships brought only 1079.902 MT of food items whereas the requirement was 4950 MT for the month of March.
Civilians of Vanni were only eating once a day for the last 4 weeks and many of them didn't have anything to eat during the last two days.