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* ICRC program to assess needs of families of missing persons in Sri Lanka to begin next month
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 02:31 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 03, Colombo: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will launch the family needs assessment (FNA) programme that will assess the humanitarian needs of families of missing persons in April.

The needs assessment survey will be implemented island wide beginning in April and is scheduled to be completed by end of 2014 or early 2015, ICRC's spokesperson Sarasi Wijeratne told local media.

The national task force on the implementation of the recommendations by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) will oversee the project while the Chief of National Intelligence at the Defence Ministry has accepted the ICRC's proposal.

According to the spokesperson, the survey would target data on the social, economic, administrative, legal and mental healthcare needs of the families of the disappeared persons.

The ICRC said from 1990 to date, it has received over 16,000 trace requests from families with persons whose whereabouts are unknown.

"These families are in a constant state of waiting for the return of their loved ones or to hear some news from them. We will take a representative sample from these 16,000 cases of missing persons which includes 4,500 trace requests from families of service personnel and security forces including the police and soldiers. We will see what their economic, legal, administrative, social and psycho-social needs and expectations are, and what resources they currently have in place to deal with their burgeoning needs. Even in the post-conflict context, such a gargantuan task and meticulous exercise has not been carried out," Wijeratne told the media.

Following the completion of the assessment survey, the ICRC will make recommendations to the government on addressing the key needs of the affected families.

** Related Story :: ICRC survey to assess needs of families of missing persons in Sri Lanka

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