Sri Lanka is home to 20,483,000 people with 18.30 % living in urban areas while 81.70% is living in rural areas. After end of the 30 years of civil war, the country is having a vibrant economy with a GDP of 67,182.015 mil USD.
Sri Lanka is prone to multiple hazards such as floods, landslides, cyclones, droughts, Tsunami and vector borne diseases. Severe floods and landslides disaster occurred in May 2016, resulting over 150 deaths while affecting 346,000 people. 211 houses were fully destroyed; 2,436 houses were partly destroyed resulting 42,918 families were evacuated into temporary refugee camps. Asian Tsunami occurred in December 2004 causing over 35,000 deaths. According to nationally collected data from 1990 -2014, 95.2% of mortality occurred due to Tsunamis.
Based on the internationally reported data from 1990 -2014, the most frequent disaster in Sri Lanka is floods followed by storm, landslides and droughts Based on the Inform 2015 Risk Index, Sri Lanka has been categorized as “High Risk Country” for humanitarian crises with a score of 4.5. This shows that the country is prone to number of natural disasters and their inadequate coping capacities for humanitarian crises.
Disaster response operations in Sri Lanka are being coordinated by the Ministry of Disaster Management and its line departments such as National Disaster Relief Center, National Building Research Organization and the Disaster Management Center. In addition, Ministry of Defense through Army, Navy and Airforce play a critical role in emergency response including search & rescue, evacuation and rehabilitation operations. UN led cluster system is not operating in the country, therefore well-coordinated humanitarian assistance and response operation framework is yet to be established. After end of the 30 years of civil war in 2009, most of the international NGOs have terminated their operations in Sri Lanka and UN agencies have scaled down their operations. On the other hand, local NGOs and civil society organizations have not traditionally being involved in humanitarian response. Therefore, country’s coping capacity for response is very low.