Thursday, August 20, 2009

A story and a video on the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis

Myanmar's government has decided to stop flights into the Ayeyarwady Delta for aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis. The flights took only an hour, now it will take aid workers a lot longer to get supplies to the cyclone victims. Cyclone Nargis killed 140,000 in Myanmar.

From the IRIN, we read more about the impact this decision makes on aid.

"It is back to six-hour-long road trips or boat rides," grumbled an aid worker.

Chris Kaye, WFP country director, confirmed that the service had been discontinued. The agency had started off with a fleet of 10 helicopters after Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar on 2 and 3 May 2008. The service delivered 1,119MT of life-saving supplies, including food and shelter materials, and transported thousands of aid workers and people needing urgent assistance.

The operation was reduced to a single helicopter in recent months but continued to provide critical access to the delta not only for WFP but the entire humanitarian community as roads are often inaccessible after rains.

"The service was a great convenience also for government officials and donors conducting assessments of the various post-Nargis programmes," said Thierry Delbreuve, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Myanmar.

Last night PBS aired a program about the plight of the survivors of the cyclone. The show Wide Angle focused on orphans who now have to take care of themselves. The below video is an introduction to the show.

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