cbm Launches Three-fold Plan for Relief Aid in Sri Lanka

    STOUFFVILLE, ON, June 12 /CNW/ - While many individuals and organizations
are being denied access to those in need in Sri Lanka, cbm is helping
thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) thanks to established partners
on the ground.
    Unlike most international relief organizations who have severely limited
access to the North and to IDP camps, cbm is able to provide essential food,
water, sanitation and medical care for thousands of IDPs. Through an
established national partner organization, LEADS, and other long term cbm
partners in Sri Lanka, workers are proving the cbm maxim that "together we can
do more".
    "cbm is working with its partners and other organizations to save lives,
and meet immediate needs in the region," says Ed Epp, Executive Director of
cbm Canada. "And we are assessing mid- and long-term strategies to address the
ongoing needs of persons with disabilities."
    cbm has been actively working in Sri Lanka for 33 years with partner
organizations. Of cbm's 14 projects in Sri Lanka, three have been directly
affected by the civil unrest. cbm has chosen to partner with LEADS in this
instance as they have a credible track record and have been audited by the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
    LEADS emergency relief effort plans and activities include: non food
relief items like clothing, etc.; providing water storage tanks; managing
meals for over 53,000 people a day; nutritional support to pregnant and
lactating mothers and children under the age of five; constructing 200
shelters and 40 sanitation units for disabled persons and their immediate
families; and providing "sack gardens" (portable gardens) for 1,000 families.
They are also offering other medical support/facilities as needed.
    By joining hands with LEADS along with other cbm partners in Sri Lanka,
cbm is implementing a vital three-step program to meet physical, emotional and
psychological needs of IDPs, particularly those with disabilities.
    Epp announced cbm's bold three-step plan of action, as follows:
    Phase I - To save lives by feeding 53,000 camp residents three meals per
day, provide sanitation and hygiene kits, provide two large shelters for
common use.
    Phase II - To provide 200 suitable shelters and 40 sanitation facilities
with accessibility for people with disabilities. To prevent disability by
providing orthopedic surgeons to cope with the huge numbers of casualties and
amputations; psycho-social counseling for people traumatized by the war
    Phase III - To rebuild lives by providing families with portable "sack
gardens"; provide ongoing physiotherapy, occupational therapy, as well as
vocational training and support for conflict survivors. When appropriate,
engage in resettling families displaced from their homes.
    "cbm is particularly concerned for those with injuries who require urgent
medical care," says Epp. "Other major challenges facing cbm partners include
minimal manpower, overcrowding, limited services, travel limitations and the
huge financial burden in meeting demand for food and water."

    cbm is an international Christian development organization that focuses
on helping people with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world. Now
in its 100th year, cbm has 1,000 projects in 100 developing countries. For
more information visit www.cbmcanada.org or phone 1-800-567-2264.

    Editor's Note: Photos available upon request

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, contact: Sandy
Hazell, cbm Canada, Media/PR Dept., 1-800-567-2264 ext 246 (Mon to Fri 8:30 -
4:30), (416) 302-3166 (after hours), shazell@cbmcanada.org, www.cbmcanada.org

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