Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar welcomes foreign aid

2008-05-06 05:36:06 - Myanmar junta government is still to work out the distribution network of food to the survivors.India has sent two naval ships laden with food and medical aids material to Myanmar.China and US have shown keen interest to sent the aid.

Thai has sent a plane laden with food aid and essential items to Rangoon.Thailand official are keen to give instant help as their 800 tinnes of rice lay in the Rangoon warehouse.'We have 800 tons of rice stock available in Rangoon in our warehouse now, so that will be available for immediate distribution,' Paul Risley, spokesperson for the World Food Programme's (WFP) Thailand office said.

The Irrawaddy casualty count has been rising quickly as authorities reach hard-hit islands and villages in the Irrawaddy delta, formerly famous as "rice bowl of Asia" which bore the brunt of Cyclone Nargis 190 kmph wind which made tens of thousand inhabitents homeless and deprieved of all amentiies.

On Monmday night Myanmar state electronic media reported that Myanmar said on Monday Myanmar welcomes foreign aid for relief and resettlement for the regions hit by deadly cyclone Nargis.

The Myanmar government will also allocate 5 billion Kyats 4.5 million U.S. dollars for the relief and resettlement programme.Further adds a Thai aircraft with relief supplies will arrive in Yangon Tuesday.

The state TV Media report said 67 powered vessels were sunk by Nargis and at least 15,000 people have been killed in two divisions of Yangon and Ayeyawaddy in the violent cyclone storm that swept Myanmar's five divisions and states on last Friday and Saturday.

The casualties in Ayeyawaddy division's Bogalay alone will exceed 10,000 and at least 1,000 in Laputta in the same division,more than 2,375 people in Ayeyawaddy division and 504 in Yangon division totaling 2,879 are missing, it said.

Regarding Haing Kyi island in the Ayeyawaddy division more than 20,000 houses were destroyed, leaving ninty three thousand people homeless.

Devastating cyclone, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit five divisions and states Yangon, Bago, Ayeyawaddy, Kayin and Mon for first time with such casualities in Myanmar and has declared the five divisions and Irrawady and Rangoon as natural-disaster-hit regions.

The Myanmar government has formed a national central committee for prevention of natural disaster to promptly and effectively carry out relief and resettlement tasks as reported in the media.

International aid agencies need free access to the states worst affected areas.On this issue the Burmese government and the Burma-based WFP country director were still undergoing dialogoue and WFP awaits for results from observers on the extent of the cyclone's damage and an assessment on how much aid will be needed.

'The meeting is to discuss whether international humanitarian assistance of the World Food Programme from the United Nations would be accepted by the government for the country,' Risley added.

Nearly 4,000 people are believed dead and thousands more still missing, according to state media reports late Monday. The cyclone swept through the Irrawaddy Delta and the nation's commercial capital with winds blowing more than 120 mph.

The storm made tree fall on roads,cut phone connections, blocked roads and ripped roofs off houses with a result more than tens of thousands of people are believed lay homeless without any help.

UN and the Red Cross of Burma today started surveying six hard-hit areas.

Cyclone Nargis was 'very strong cyclone, according to the satellite news, and exact extent of the damage to people's houses, shelter, in the Irrawaddy division and Rangoon division is awaited.Leaders of Junta have made Helicopter visit.

Flood water is damaging families' food stock, so there may potentially be very critical food assistance needs from the next few days.'

The Irrawaddy Delta is main rice-producing region of Burma.

Another aid group, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is ready to move in. 'We have people in Burma already working on medical project, and if the Burmese government asks for help, then we will suddenly help,' said Chris Lom, the IOM's regional information officer.

The main needs are shelter and clean water, Lom said. At a meeting with the UN, the agencies discussed providing plastic sheets and a water purification system to prevent water-borne diseases.

'It's difficult to say how much will be needed,' Lom said. 'We just don't know because all telephone lines are down.'

International humanitarian groups are finding difficult to work in Burma,due to lack of coordination between various nodal agencies as the state has been ruled by military dictators since 1962.

The Global Fund to fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria withdrew its presence from Burma in 2005, citing restrictions by the Burmese junta on movements of its volunteers.

Similarly, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), citing government restrictions, closed down two of its field offices in Mawlamyine of Mon State and Kyaing Tong of Eastern Shan State.

A nation which lives in veil and does not permit aid submitting countries volunteers to work is making difficult aid reach the survivors.

US and other EU countries wish to send aid but they await free access to the areas worst affceted

Naresh Sagar
Web: http://www.nksagar.com
Phone: 9810974027

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