The European Union is directing over Rs. 48 million (€200,000) in humanitarian funding to provide crucial assistance in response to serous oil and hazardous chemical spills triggered by the fire that broke out on a ship carrying hazardous substances in May.
The aid will benefit 15,000 people who have been heavily affected by the disaster in the districts of Colombo, Galle, Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttlam and Matara.
This EU funding will support the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society in delivering emergency relief assistance to those most affected, especially small-scale fishing communities, through the delivery of cash assistance.
This will help meet the immediate needs of those whose day-to-day livelihoods have been impacted by the fishing ban implemented following the incident.
The aid will also focus on supporting local authorities to clean hazardous and toxic materials along the country’s west coast.
Necessary training and materials, such as personal protective equipment, goggles and boots, will also be provided to volunteers involving in the cleaning activities.
Special attention will be paid to the most vulnerable groups, including female-headed families, people with disabilities and the elderly.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).