The spread of the COVID-19 virus has caused a global pandemic, with the number of persons affected and the death toll rising daily. In Sri Lanka, the worst-affected areas such as Colombo, Kalutara, Gampaha, Jaffna and Puttalam have been in a continued period of state-imposed curfew while the entire island is facing a lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly virus. With the first virus-related death reported on 28 March, the security measures in place have been tightened further. This situation has greatly affected daily-wage earners across Sri Lanka, especially those who are in rural areas who do not have a stable mode of income to purchase their basic requirements.
As a response to the emergency situation and great need that has arisen in the country, LEADS is currently mobilising resources to reach out to families in need. Thus far, LEADS has distributed packs of dry rations among 95 families in Nuwara Eliya and 50 families in Ratnapura. It also hopes to reach out to families in quarantine in Jaffna and in other underprivileged areas, which are affected by the spreading virus.
Distribution of Relief Packs in Ratnapura
During the period of curfew, there has also been a 33% increase in child abuse reported in Sri Lanka, as observed by ECPAT Sri Lanka – a child rights group. As a national agency working towards creating safer spaces for children, LEADS is concerned about the well-being of children during this period and continuously shares resources for parents through its social media presence, with the aim of equipping parents and adults to safeguard the children in their homes and neighbourhoods. Recreational packs will also be distributed among 286 children receiving our counselling services through centres in Jaffna, Badulla and Colombo, along with packs of dry rations for their families.
We appeal on behalf of the hundreds daily-wage earners and their families across Sri Lanka who are living through a period of uncertainty and dire need. If you would like to join with us in our relief efforts, please donate online via our payment gateway – www.leads.lk/donation/
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