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Lutheran World Relief Responds to Escalating Conflict in Sri Lanka

BALTIMORE, April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lutheran World Relief is responding to the urgent humanitarian needs of people displaced by fighting between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Armed conflict in Sri Lanka continues to escalate as government forces intensify operations to seize land under the control of the LTTE. The conflict has taken a heavy toll on the civilian population of northern Sri Lanka with more than 300,000 people displaced and an estimated 200,000 civilians trapped in the zone of military operations.

"LWR must respond to this humanitarian crisis," says Tim McCully, Lutheran World Relief's Vice President for International Programs. "The situation is worsening by the day and the people desperately need our help."

Thousands of displaced families have sought refuge in government camps. Because of the fighting, most families are unable to travel to other parts of the country or farm the surrounding lands, leaving them without a reliable source of food or income and vulnerable to the ongoing conflict. Many displaced families lack basic necessities such as food, clean water, or medical care.

Working with partners on the ground, Lutheran World Relief will respond to this crisis by distributing food baskets containing essential items such as cooking oil, rice and beans.

"A food basket costs only about a dollar a person and can be delivered quickly. The distribution of baskets will help sustain families as they deal with this crisis," adds McCully.

More help is urgently needed. Lutheran World Relief is accepting donations to the Sri Lanka emergency relief effort at; by phone at 1-800-597-5972; or by mail at P.O. Box 17061 Baltimore, MD 21298-9832, USA.

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

SOURCE Lutheran World Relief
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