SRI LANKA: (Left) a girl sits on the ground with her two sisters and reads from a textbook she found at Ayesha Girls College, a makeshift camp for people displaced by the conflict, in the town of Kantale in Trincomalee District in North-Eastern Province. The school is one of 66 emergency sites in the district.
In August 2006 in Sri Lanka, conflict continued to escalate despite the 2002 cease-fire between the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In late July in Trincomalee District, more than 60,000 people, primarily from Muttur Town and surrounding villages, were uprooted from their homes when fighting broke out over a disputed water source. On 6 August, 17 aid workers on a humanitarian mission for the international NGO Action Contre la Faim (ACF) were found killed in Muttur. As the climate for humanitarian workers grew more dangerous, conflict in the North intensified, cutting off relief for children in remote areas. Tens of thousands of children have been displaced and live in constant fear of violence, while others have been killed, injured or lost family members. By the end of October, most of the families from the Muttur area returned to their villages, but fighting intensified in other districts. Throughout the North-Eastern Province, UNICEF is working with the government and other local partners to deliver urgent humanitarian relief, including safe water and sanitation, essential drugs, hygiene kits and family kits containing basic items such as clothes, towels, mats, cooking pots, plastic sheeting, eating utensils, buckets and jerry cans. UNICEF has also provided child-friendly spaces and supervised recreational and psychosocial activities for conflict-affected children, and is working with authorities to locate orphaned, unaccompanied and separated children. UNICEF is also the lead agency for water, sanitation and hygiene in Trincomalee District.