On 15 May 2016 Sri Lanka was hit by severe weather that caused widespread flooding and deadly landslides. More than 100 people were killed by the disaster, which affected 22 of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts.
An estimated 360,000 were displaced in the immediate aftermath of the flooding. In response to a request for international assistance by Sri Lankan authorities, Australia contributed $500,000 to UNICEF.
UNICEF provided immediate assistance to children in displacement camps, including the provision of clean water and creating child-friendly spaces. As of June, Australia’s support to UNICEF is helping around 500 children and 2,000 families.
Australia’s $500,000 to UNICEF will also help to rebuild and refurbish 22 schools that have been badly damaged. This support will benefit around 4,400 children who attend the schools.
A further $50,000 in DFAT’s prepositioned funds is being used by the SPRINT* initiative, in partnership with the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, to respond to the disaster. Within 72 hours, SPRINT had released 750 prepositioned reproductive health kits, initiated the procurement of 500 more and deployed a specialist to conduct a rapid needs assessment.
SPRINT is also using DFAT funds to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in medical clinics, deliver awareness sessions on SRH and gender-based violence and provide psychosocial support to affected women.