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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Sri Lankan IDPs

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
July 26, 2009


Date: 07/16/2009 Location: Sri Lanka Description: A Tamil man displaced by fighting describes his experiences to Mr. Schwartz.  © State Dept Image

Date: 07/17/2009 Description: Mr. Schwartz  confers with camp residents, as well as representatives of international and local humanitarian organizations.  © State Dept Image

Date: 07/26/2009 Location: Sri Lanka Description: Assistant Secretary Schwartz travelled to the Manik Farm camp to meet with people displaced by recent fighting in eastern Sri Lanka.  In this photo, Assistant Secretary talks to Tamil children at the camp.  The U.S. government is supporting the humanitarian aid activities of the UNHCR, the ICRC and other partners assisting this population.  © State Dept Image

Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz visited Sri Lanka to observe conditions in refugee camps where approximately 280,000 Sri Lankans are currently living since they were displaced by fighting earlier this year. The United States has provided over fifty million dollars for humanitarian assistance in Sri Lanka so far in 2009, and Mr. Schwartz used his visit to focus attention on the need to promptly return the displaced in safety and dignity.

Mr. Schwartz brought good news: “I am pleased to announce a U.S. contribution of eight million dollars in support of return, recovery and the resumption of a normal and more productive life for the many tens of thousands who were forced to flee their homes. As is the case with all such assistance we provide, we will seek to encourage the involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of projects.

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