Support for post-conflict health needs - Conflict in Northern Sri Lanka

Funds allocated:
US$ 350 000

Affected population:
280 000 IDPs- SEARHEF supported health needs of 1.2 million people affected in 18 districts

The emergency

As 280 000 IDPs accommodated in Menik Farm began to resettle in their areas of origin, the Ministry of Health was faced with the challenge of providing essential health services to the remaining IDPs in Menik Farm and to the people who had resettled in their areas of origin in the northern province.
Sri Lanka submitted a Joint Plan of Action to be funded by donors directly or through funding mechanisms such as CAP or CERF; with the continuing need for provision of public health services.
The Ministry of Health requested for assistance of US$ 175 000 from SEARHEF in January 2010 and US$ 175 000 in February 2011 to address health priorities until longer-term funding facilities were available.

Funds allocated

At the request of the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, supported by the WHO Representative to Sri Lanka, US$ 175 000 were allocated for the emergency from SEARHEF in January 2010 and another US$175 000 in February 2011.

MOH Primary Health Centre in Mankulam supported by WHO

How it made a difference

The SEARHEF assistance in 2010 supported the Ministry of Health to revitalize health systems in the five districts of the northern province, damaged during the armed conflict. The assistance from SEARHEF in February 2011 in addition to continuing to help the Ministry of Health to rebuild the health system, more importantly, supported the Ministry’s efforts in responding to the health needs of 1.2 million people affected in 18 districts by severe flooding as a result of heavy monsoon rains in January and February 2011.

MoH medical doctor and nurse seeing an IDP patient in Menik Farm during the early phases of the displacement in May 2009. MoH surge capacity was supported by WHO with SEARHEF funds

Procuring essential medicines

In 2010 and 2011 with SEARHEF support, essential drugs and supplies were speedily procured and distributed to strengthen primary health care services, including rehabilitation of damaged health facilities, provision of medical equipment, disease surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the resettlement areas.
In 2011 SEARHEF was also able to support the MoH in providing essential health care services to the 18 most severely flood affected districts including replacement of damaged critical equipment in health facilities

Road between Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa flooded with about 5 feet of water during the February 2011 monsoon rains
Road between Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa flooded with about 5 feet of water during the February 2011 monsoon rains

Rapid assessment

Rapid assessment of the situation and followup assessments were carried out to evaluate the impact of the flood and the gaps that had to be filled for health care response.

Provision of essential health care

Supplies and drugs mobilized by the Ministry of Health were provided to rapid response teams during the floods of January and February 2011 to extend essential health care services to the displaced population.

The outcome for such prompt action: Critical medical equipment and other medical items were available in the health facilities in the resettlement areas. Health needs and gaps in the 18 floodaffected districts were addressed. No disease outbreak was reported in the resettlement areas. No disease outbreak was reported in the flood-affected districts

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