Some of the world’s attention remains focused on the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake (with good reason) but, meanwhile, there’s a crisis happening in Sri Lanka—a country that rarely makes news headlines.
According to The Guardian, the Sri Lankan population is facing a major food crisis caused by devastating floods—floods that have wiped out homes, schools, and crops, and have displaced 350,000 people who are now living in tents.
Sri Lanka’s agricultural ministry reports that 21 percent of the country’s rice crop had been destroyed. In the worst-affected part of the country, the Eastern Province, the damage to agricultural land could leave up to 1 million people, including 400,000 children, without enough food.
AJWS is providing emergency grants to three of its partners in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka that are working with Tamil and Muslim communities that were displaced by conflict in 2006. After taking out large loans to initiative agricultural projects in their newly resettled homes, these communities have now lost everything yet again.
AJWS is, in particular, supporting the Center for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (CPPHR), a Catholic organization founded in 2005 to protect human rights in Tamil minority communities affected by war, political unrest, disappearances and detentions. With a particular focus on a the status of women, the group provides legal representation to human rights victims, offers human rights education, documents human rights abuses and advocates for redress. In the aftermath of the recent food crisis, AJWS is providing emergency funding for CPPHR to distribute emergency food aid and livestock to women and ethnic minorities who are not receiving adequate care and aid.