Thursday, April 30, 2009

A year after the cyclone, Myanmar still needs a lot

A year after the cyclone that tore Myanmar apart, hundreds of thousands of it's people are still without jobs and stuck in poverty. Humanitarian groups released the status of Myanmar's people on the anniversary of the cyclone.

The storm destroyed 450,000 homes and damaged just about as many. Some of those homes are yet to be rebuilt leaving the people exposed to the upcoming monsoon season.

From we find this Associated Press story on the condition of Myanmar. Writer Micheal Casey begins by giving some history.

Foreign governments and charities provided $315 million for food aid and emergency assistance in the months after the tropical storm hit the country May 2-3, 2008, leaving 138,000 people dead or missing and another 800,000 homeless.

But international charities and U.N. agencies like the World Food Program say hundreds of millions of dollars are still needed over the next several years to rebuild the delta's decimated infrastructure and provide farmers and fishermen with the cash they need to regain their livelihoods.

Many noted the funds raised so far are about 40 times less than $12 billion raised for the 2004 tsunami, even though Nargis was the worst natural disaster in Myanmar's modern history and the world's fifth deadliest in the past 40 years.

"We can provide a farmer and his family with food in a weekly ration, but that same farmer will need cash to purchase seeds, to restore fields and replace the plows and livestock they lost," WFP spokesman Paul Risley told reporters at a news conference in Bangkok.
A year after the cyclone, Myanmar still needs a lot
Risley said his agency expects to provide food rations through the year for 350,000 people while the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said 100,000 people are still living in tents and in need of permanent shelter.

"Tens of thousands more live in temporary, substandard shelters, which will not be able to withstand another storm," said Bernd Schell, the head of the IFRC's country office in Yangon.

1 comment:

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