Sri Lanka

Tamil children learn letters, numbers, songs and dances at a preschool in northwest Sri Lanka. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS

Tamil children learn letters, numbers, songs and dances at a preschool in northwest Sri Lanka. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS

Sri Lanka is still recovering from decades-long war and the devastating 2004 tsunami. Catholic Relief Services' work in the country has focused on post-tsunami reconstruction and on helping those displaced by war. The war left thousands of people with no food, home or way to rebuild their lives. When the war ended, the government provided shelter to more than 300,000 displaced people in camps. Partnering with Caritas and Jesuit Refugee Services, CRS funded food, medical care and more to camp residents. We also provide artificial limbs to the many people who lost limbs in the war. CRS now helps people in this war-torn nation start anew.

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Stats

Population:21,675,648 (July 2013 est.)
Size:25,332 sq mi; about the size of West Virginia
People Served:14,362 (2012 est.)

History

Through our partner Caritas, CRS began assisting the people of Sri Lanka in 1994 from its office in India. In 2001, CRS began sponsoring the National Peace Program through Caritas. This initiative was designed to bring together people from across the ethnic and religious divides in an effort to ease tensions that have been at the roots of the civil war. CRS immediately responded to the December 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with Caritas Sri Lanka and Jesuit Refugee Services, and as part of the Caritas Internationalis confederation. Through these partnerships, CRS provided rehabilitation assistance to tsunami victims throughout the country. The civil war in Sri Lanka between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam escalated in 2006, and the number of internally displaced people rose sharply. In 2009, when the war came to an end, CRS and our partners created return and resettlement programs for the displaced people. Through Caritas, CRS also helps women in danger of being bought and sold, and helps farm workers exploited on tea plantations.

Partners

Caritas Sri Lanka
Jesuit Refugee Service

Programs

Education
Disaster Response
Health
Peacebuilding


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