Go to main content

Sri Lanka emergency: Death toll mounts following severe floods

Sri Lanka

Torrential downpours and flash floods in southwest Sri Lanka over the weekend claimed at least 169 lives. More than half a million people are affected, and 75,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. Handicap International’s emergency response experts and the local team in Sri Lanka are evaluating ways to help.

Flooding Batticaloa

Photo shows flooding in Batticaloa, which took place in 2010. Batticaloa is one of the areas worst affected by the current flooding crisis. | © ChildFund

Severe floods and mudslides across have also left families searching for more than 110 people. The death toll is likely to rise, and hundreds of thousands of people need emergency assistance.

Handicap International has worked in Sri Lanka since 2003. Teams responded with financial and housing assistance when floods hit in November 2015 and following Cyclone Roanu in May 2016.

Anne-Lyse Coutin, Handicap International’s Project Officer for Sri Lanka explains “The 2015 and 2016 disasters caused the displacement of approximately 350,000 people. We helped as many as possible to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. Some of the same areas have been badly hit again and it looks as though the impact may be even worse. It’s devastating for everyone involved.”

In addition to people’s immediate needs for survival, Handicap International is particularly concerned about the medium-term recovery in these communities. “The floods come after a serious drought and widespread crop failure. People are now facing 3 consecutive failed seasons, impacting their food security, livelihood and overall resilience.” adds Coutin.

Our emergency response experts and the team in Sri Lanka will determine how best to respond to the people who are most in need.

Where we work

Read more

Western Mosul: ghost town
© Fanny Mraz / HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

Western Mosul: ghost town

Between October 2016 and July 2017, Mosul, in Nineveh province, was the scene of heavy fighting. The intensive use of explosive weapons such as bombs and improvised mines was particularly destructive in the western half of the city. More than 500,000 people are still displaced in camps.


UN Security Council recognises the rights of people with disabilities in armed conflicts
© Martin Crep/HI
Emergency Inclusion Rights

UN Security Council recognises the rights of people with disabilities in armed conflicts

For the first time ever, the United Nations Security Council has adopted a Resolution on persons with disabilities in armed conflict. This represents a significant step forward for people with disabilities, who are particularly at risk in crisis situations and often overlooked in humanitarian assistance.

Residents rebuild in Mozambique thanks to HI aid distributions
© A. Emangard / HI

Residents rebuild in Mozambique thanks to HI aid distributions

Following several weeks of clean-up operations, Humanity and Inclusion is now supporting vulnerable residents of Beira, Mozambique to repair and rebuild their homes.