UN relief official arrives in Sri Lanka

20:30, January 19, 2011      

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UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg arrived in Sri Lanka Wednesday to make a first hand assessment of the damage caused by heavy flash floods during the past two weeks, an official said.

"She will have internal meetings and thereafter will travel to affected areas", said Mohan Samaranayake, a spokesman for the UN office in Colombo.

Samaranayake said Bragg will also meet with a group of conflict affected northerners who had returned to their places of origin as the floods receded.

Bragg landed in Colombo as the UN issued its international appeal to help Sri Lanka's flood victims.

"This appeal seeks 51 million dollars to enable international partners to support the government in addressing the needs of more than one million flood-affected people over the next six months. The appeal will be revised within the next month to reflect needs as the situation evolves, and as the results of in-depth assessments become available", the UN said in a statement.

Heavy rains since the end of last month caused floods in central north and east parts of Sri Lanka, leaving more than 40 people dead and over one million affected.

China has decided to offer emergency humanitarian aid worth 10 million yuan (about 1.52 million U.S. dollars) to Sri Lanka, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

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