Renewed conflict between the Sri Lankan government army and the Tamil Tigers on 1 August 2006 resulted in around 200 people dead and more than 500 injured, while 60,000 people fled their homes.
Most of the displaced population settled in 71 camps in Kantalai, Thampalakamam and Kinniya districts, while others moved in to private accommodation or with relatives.
Some have fled to other districts further way such as Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Dambulla, Ampara, Kegalle and Kandy areas.
Outbreaks of diarrhoea, malaria and malnutrition have been reported, especially amongst the young and elderly. Respiratory illnesses are also on the increase because of the dusty atmosphere in the camp sites.
Schools, hospitals and homes have been damaged in the fighting.
There are daily reports of people returning to Muttur to assess the situation, but it remains unclear how many are prepared to go back home.
IRW aid for the displaced
Islamic Relief worldwide (IRW) has allocated £10,000 to intervene in this emergency and has been asked to manage and maintain one camp site hosting 300 to 350 families.
IRW aid workers visited the Kantalai area with relief goods for the displaced population and distributed them in partnership with the Jammiat ul Ulama Association.
Around 10,000 people received food, including tinned fish, noodles, and baby milk, and hygiene items such as soap, mosquito coils, and toothpaste.
The IRW team agreed to provide 100 tents and other household items for the displaced people in Muttur and Thoppur.
IRW is also managing and maintaining one refugee site which holds 300 to 350 families
IRW is coordinating its response with the Disaster Management Coordinating Centre, local authorities, local aid agencies and community based organisations.