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Sri Lanka has been suffering from the effects of both manmade and natural disasters for the past three decades. The civil war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan Government has lasted almost 26 years, and was responsible for the deaths of almost 100,000 civilians.
A further 1.1 million civilians were displaced, with the conflict causing significant harm to the economy of the country.
More recently, Sri Lanka was one of the worst affected countries when the tsunami hit in December 2004. Approximately, 80% of the country's coastline was damaged, and led to the deaths of almost 50,000 people and the displacement of around 1 million.
With an increase in flooding and other natural disasters, Sri Lanka has seen a rise in poverty, child malnutrition, and unemployment.
Muslim Aid was operational in Sri Lanka via local partners for about 10 years prior to the tsunami in 2004. Our first field office was set up in 2005 in the capital, Colombo.
In November 2006, following the resettlement of displaced people a sub field office was opened in the town of Mutur.
By 2011, a total of 80,650 food packets and 38,000 non food item packs were distributed in the disaster affected areas; over 943,510 people have benefited from water provisions; two mobile field hospitals have been established alongside better provision of medicine, medical equipment and ambulances that have benefited over 96,000 IDPs; 100 houses were constructed and livelihood support was given to 154 families in the tsunami and war affected areas; around six pre-schools and six temporary learning centres were established.
Muslim Aid Sri Lanka is working in partnership with other international NGOs in several areas. These include water projects with UNICEF, the Myanmar refugee programme with UNHCR and emergency operations with UMCOR and AmeriCares.
To date, Muslim Aid has 27 staff members in Sri Lanka, with 18 in Colombo, and 9 at project offices.