Notes from the Field

Burma Cyclone Relief: How to Help

May 14, 2008

Ten days ago, Cyclone Nargis hit Burma. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently estimated that the resultant death toll is between 68,833 and 127,990. The surviving Burmese citizens have been deeply affected by widespread destruction including power and telecommunication breakdowns, with some villages being completely destroyed. According to the World Food Program, vast acres of standing rice crops have been wiped out and flooding and road damages have cut off food supplies. More than a million people have become homeless and are suffering from an acute shortage of food and water.

On May 6, 2008 the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a general license to help facilitate the flow of funds for humanitarian assistance to the Burmese people in the wake of the cyclone.

With your support, the Give2Asia Burma Cyclone Relief Fund will work with organizations based in Southeast Asia to facilitate recovery programs. So far, Give2Asia’s partners include:

The Metta Development Foundation, Burma: Metta currently spends US$100,000 per day. The rough estimated cost of providing a tarp for shelter to all of the families supported by Metta is US$413,058, and rice to feed all 68,843 survivors for one day is US$12,517. The Give2Asia Burma Relief Fund will supplement their efforts supporting affected communities in the regions of Myaungmya, Pathein, Laputta and Bogalay.

Action Harm Reduction Network, Burma: AHRN is seeking funds to provide shelter to 1,300 affected and homeless families in South Dagon, which is a township of Yangon located in the eastern outskirts of the city. The population there has been fraught with poverty and has received no temporary shelter structures since the cyclone ravaged the area. AHRN Burmese staff with support of local monks will distribute shelter materials to the families and help set up the tents for the families. The total funds requested are US$45,755 to purchase 1,300 plastic sheets for transportation and to provide some food for the volunteers.

International Development Enterprises: An NGO operating in Burma since 2004, IDE is equipped with Burmese staff not hampered by language or cultural barriers in delivering aid. At the moment, 27 IDE teams are implementing projects to provide emergency clean drinking water to villages, foot-operated water pumps from tube wells, and emergency shelter. With your help, about 62,000 Burmese can receive clean drinking water, villages can benefit from over 2,500 water pumps, and 150,000 Burmese can receive shelter in the next few weeks.

To make a donation of any amount to the Burma Cyclone Relief Fund, click here.

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