Sri Lanka and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday signed a US $ 2 million grant agreement to finance relief efforts in the country following the recent floods and landslides, which claimed the lives of around a hundred people and damaged the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands more. “Considering the scope of the damage in Sri Lanka and the government’s constrained resources, it is critical that we assist the people of Sri Lanka in this time of urgent need,” said Sri Lanka Resident Mission Country Director Sri Widowati
The US $ 2 million is being provided to the government as a grant, under the ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, to purchase emergency relief materials and supplies and help restore community services. Tropical Storm Roanu, which struck Sri Lanka on May 15, caused severe flooding and numerous landslides, particularly in the west of the country. Twenty two of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts were affected by the storm with an estimated 500 houses destroyed and a further 3,800 partially damaged. In some places, entire villages were submerged. As a result of heavy rains, several major reservoirs overflowed and the flood gates were fully opened to avoid a dam breach, causing flooding downstream. Major landslides in two districts of the Sabaragamuwa and Central Provinces caused further havoc and buried several villages in mudslides.