The relief materials for flood victims sent by the Italian government were officially handed over to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Italian Embassy this morning (28).
Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera and Deputy Minister of Disaster Management Dulip Wijesekara received the relief items on behalf of the Government at the Bandaranaike International Airport today. The Disaster Management Centre will ensure the distribution of these items to the flood affected areas.
Italy has identified only the Governement of Sri Lanka, instead of international NGOs, as the entity which can better ensure the distribution of the goods, the Embassy of Italy in Sri Lanka said.
The plane-load of items of prime necessities for the flood affected in Sri Lanka arrived from Italy early this morning.
The materials were sent upon instructions by the Italyan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini to Italy’s Development Co-operation Head Office, to make arrangements for an emergency humanitarian flight to Sri Lanka in view of the devastation caused by floods.
Among the items made available by the Co-operation were family tents, plastic rolls, water tanks, water purification unit, food, electric generators and an inflatable boat. The total cost of this operation is 340.000 Euro.
Italy has managed to organise this flight in consideration of the excellent relations between the two countries and peoples, despite the severe reductions in Italy’s budget, the Embassy added.
It is also noted that Minister Frattini was the only European Minister to welcome the interreligious delegation sent by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Europe to discuss about the implication of GSP+.
The monsoon rains which struck Sri Lanka from the month of November 2010 affected over 1 million people and caused an influx of approximately 360,000 displaced and dozens of victims.