Food situation critical, NGO consortium in Jaffna warns
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 September 2006, 16:57 GMT]
The consortium of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Jaffna Tuesday urged the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to re-open the A9 road without delay and allow the transportation of the essential items to Jaffna as officials of the Jaffna Secretariat had announced last week that the food brought in by the cargo ship Ruhunu was adequate only for one week and the bakery owners association has complained that the stock of flour is enough to meet their needs only for the next three days.
All supplies have been exhausted, the NGO consortium said.
The quantity of items brought in by a single cargo ship is inadequate to meet the needs of the Jaffna population, the consortium warned.
The essential supplies are usually brought into the peninsula by hundreds of lorries.
Meanwhile none of the essential items, including flour, sugar, lentils and cooking oil, were available in any of the business establishments.
The price of sugar has doubled and is sold at LKR 130 per kilo.
Flour that was being sold at three times the market price was not available in the shops.
There is also a severe shortage of petrol, diesel and kerosene.
If A9 was not re-opened in time, the entire population of Jaffna peninsula would face starvation, the consortium has warned, urging immediate action.
The Tigers have said they were fully prepared to extend their cooperation to the ICRC to allow transportation of humanitarian supplies through A9 road and charged Colombo for not cooperating with the humanitarian agencies.