$300,000 to aid Myanmar victims
Plan has provided US$ 300,000 for immediate emergency humanitarian and relief operations in Myanmar after a cyclone tore through the country leaving a trail of destruction and a death toll that some put as high as 100,000.
Aid will include emergency items such as mosquito nets, shelters, saws, axes, sarongs, and hygiene kits (especially for young girls). Medical supplies including anti-diarrhea, anti-bacterial and anti-malarial drugs, as well as saline drips and basic bandaging and dressings will also be distributed.
Almost a week after the cyclone, much of the Irrawaddy Delta (the rice bowl of Myanmar) is underwater and hundreds of thousands of children are still without food, water, clothing or shelter.
Time is of the essencePlan has strong programs in most of Myanmar’s neighboring countries and highly trained staff poised to intervene the minute permission is granted for aid agencies to enter the country. Plan already has partners in Myanmar that are collating information and assessments for our response.
Plan’s in-depth knowledge and experience from the tsunami will also come into play. Our expertise in working with children and communities in the aftermath of Asia’s biggest disaster will guide our operations as communities start the long road to recovery.
Meanwhile, Plan and other agencies are still awaiting the necessary authorization to enter the country. With every day the risk of disease increases as bodies rot and the contaminated food and water supplies leave the displaced even more vulnerable.
Speaking from Thailand, Plan’s Director of Communications, Gary Walker said: "Experience has shown us this is a race against time. There are up to a million people desperate for assistance, many of them children.
"It is vital we get shelter and medicines to them as quickly as possible. The longer we delay, the greater the misery and suffering, and the greater the likelihood the death toll will soar even higher.”
The Government’s continued resistance to international assistance has meant that to date only four international aid flights have been permitted to land. Meanwhile, mountains of emergency relief supplies and hundreds of humanitarian assistance personnel, including Plan staff, are waiting in neighboring countries for visas and permission to enter.
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