Heavy rains and poor weather conditions currently prevailing in Sri Lanka have hampered transportation of essential food items to the northern Jaffna peninsula, government officials said Saturday.
The city of Jaffna is faced with severe food shortage despite government action to despatch by sea several ship loads of essential items.
Prices of essential food items such as rice, flour, sugar and even fuel had gone up four times the usual prices due to shortage, relief organizations said.
"There have been delays in sending shipments due to current bad weather," S. B. Divaratne, the commissioner general of Essential Services said, adding that despite the delays Jaffna should have stocks sufficient for 10 to 12 days.
Nearly all of 500,000 residents in Jaffna faced scarcities with the outbreak of military hostilities between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels and the government in the peninsula mid-August.
The main A9 highway between the south of the country and Jaffna remains closed, with the Tigers and the government accusing each other for the closure.
This has made the sea route the only possible journey albeit time consuming.
The Tamil rebels accuse the government of using the humanitarian supply situation in Jaffna as a tool in the conflict.
The government denies the charge, stressing that it had dispatched several ship loads even during the height of clashes in August.