Church in Sri Lanka responds to devastating floods

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As floodwaters recede, agencies are taking stock. Communities require emergency assistance, and there is an urgent need to prevent the spread of disease through environmental clean-up and waste management.At least 104 people are known to have died. This number could rise as 99 people are still missing – the majority following a landslide in the western region of Kegalle, in the Sabaragamuwa Province, which destroyed three villages.The Anglican mission agency United Society (formerly USPG) are assisting the Church of Ceylon’s response. They say that more than 128,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed, and that this number is likely to rise because of a continuing threat of further landslides. The island’s government has estimated that up to 30,000 businesses may have been affected.“Those who have been displaced are living in temporary camps, schools, religious buildings, community centers, and with friends and relatives,” a spokesman for the United Society said. “The government and other organizations are providing food, water and healthcare. Where there is overcrowding, water and sanitation are particular concerns.”The worst affected area is the district of Colombo, where a large number of people live on reclaimed marshland that is highly susceptible to flooding.As part of its response, the Church of Ceylon’s Board of Social Responsibility provided 30 boats during the initial emergency rescue operations. It is now focused on supporting families in the villages of Puttalam, Chilaw, Urubokke and Dandugama.“Families have received food, toiletries, boots, medicines, cooking utensils, bedding, water purification tablets, chlorine and cleaning materials,” the United Society said. “The church is also helping with house repairs and providing schools books and supplies so the children can continue in education.”On its website, the Diocese of Colombo reported that “The flooding and landslides have wreaked havoc across the country. Many casualties have been reported and dozens are missing under the mud of a landslide at Aranayake.“We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed generously in cash or kind or by volunteering their time.”The Church is now planning for the next phase of its response, which will include assisting with the rehabilitation and reconstruction of communities as they rebuild livelihood activities.The Church of Ceylon’s work supporting vulnerable tea plantation communities will be supported by the United Society’s Harvest Appeal. 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F&C subject to £700m buyout from Canadian bank

first_imgHe added: “F&C and BMO both take pride in having built distinctive and engaging brands – grounded in a long history of trust – and we share a deeply held conviction in working in the best interests of our clients.”Richard Wilson, Downe’s counterpart at F&C, said changes implemented in recent years put the cpmpany in a good position to develop.“Looking forward, BMO represents a unique opportunity to broaden and accelerate our ambitions,” he said.“The products, geographic presence and cultures of both organisations are truly complementary, and, with BMO’s commitment to growth, this is clearly a very positive outcome for both our clients and employees. We look forward to joining the BMO organisation.”At the end of 2013, F&C reported assets under management (AUM) of £82bn, down from £95bn just 12 months’ prior.At the time, more than 80% of its AUM stemmed from European institutional clients, according to IPE’s Top 400 Asset Managers 2013. F&C Asset Management is set for a £700m (€845m) acquisition by the asset management arm of Canada’s Bank of Montreal in a deal that values the company at a nearly 30% premium over its pre-deal stock price.BMO Financial Group, both the bank and BMO Global Asset Management’s parent company, announced today that it would offer F&C shareholders 120 pence per share, significantly up from its 93.8 pence price at the end of last week and resulting in a £708m offer.The Canadian group said F&C’s board would unanimously recommend shareholders accept the deal, with the acquisition set to close in May, subject to regulatory approval.Bill Downe, CFO at BMO, praised F&C’s “established pedigree” in fixed income, equity and property investments.last_img read more