Climate change brings devastating monsoon rains to Sri Lanka | Humanitarian Coalition

Climate change brings devastating monsoon rains to Sri Lanka

June 20, 2017

Monsoons play an important part in Sri Lanka’s economy. People’s livelihoods and ability to grow food are closely linked with the seasonal rains. Residents are used to the yearly, mostly intermittent heavy rains. But with changing weather patterns, monsoon season is becoming more unpredictable, larger and more damaging.

In May of this year, the monsoon brought more than the monthly average rainfall in just two days, causing widespread landslides, damaging settlements and infrastructure and devastating farmlands. In some parts of the country, more than 500 mm of rain fell in just 24 hours.

Floods in Matara, Sri Lanka

Floods and landslides killed more than 200 people and affected more than half a million people. Thousands of people have lost their livelihoods and now have limited access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene support.

However, thanks to more than $400,000 from the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund, Humanitarian Coalition member Oxfam Canada is able to support affected individuals and communities with timely emergency relief aid.

Specifically, Oxfam will be able to enhance its existing efforts in providing safe drinking water, hygiene kits and clean-up kits to families. The organization is also organizing a cash for work program to assist early livelihood recovery. In total, approximately 20,000 people are expected to benefit from this assistance.

Oxfam has been working in Sri Lanka for over 30 years on a number of humanitarian and development program, with a particular focus on empowering women and girls. In the past five years, it has responded to seven emergencies in the country, continuously investing in building the capacity of local humanitarian partners.

The Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund is a joint mechanism between the Humanitarian Coalition, its member agencies and Global Affairs Canada.


For more information:
Yosé Cormier
Communications Advisor
Humanitarian Coalition
yose.cormier at

The Humanitarian Coalition is Canada’s only joint appeal response for international disasters and emergencies. It is made up 7 leading humanitarian agencies: Canadian Lutheran World Relief, CARE Canada, Islamic Relief Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan International Canada and Save the Children Canada. Collectively, they are present in more than 150 countries. Together, saving more lives.