Civilians face increasing risk amid Sri Lanka fighting, warns UN humanitarian chief

[UN News Centre]

The United Nations is increasingly concerned for the well-being of tens of thousands of civilians caught up in the conflict raging in the northern Vanni area of Sri Lanka pitting Government forces against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the world body’s humanitarian chief said today.

“As fighting surrounds the areas towards which families have been displaced, and with few choices about where to move, they are increasingly susceptible to harm due to the fighting,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said in a statement.

“While they have had access to basic food, in large part due to the Government and the UN assistance transported through the lines of fighting,” he said, “they have few, if any, reserves and the conditions of their basic shelter, water and sanitation are increasingly inadequate as many have been displaced multiple times over the last months, weeks and days.”

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