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Imagine compassion in a crisis: Recovery in Myanmar

Imagine compassion in a crisis: Recovery in Myanmar

2008 saw tragic scenes in Myanmar, India, Nepal, the Caribbean and Honduras as storms killed thousands. Caritas relief efforts provided food, shelter, medicine and compassion as it appealed for US $77 million worldwide in 2008 in 40 separate appeals.

In May, Cyclone Nargis hit the Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar (also known as Burma), leaving 134,000 people dead or missing.

Caritas made use of existing Church structures to deliver desperately needed aid to over 26,000 people within weeks of the disaster.

Caritas has supplied over 100,000 people with basic food staples, around 40,000 people with non-food items such as blankets and mosquito nets, and thousands of other families with household hygiene and sanitation kits.

Just days after the cyclone hit, Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon visited the worst affected area. He sent a series of reports.

3 May: The magnitude of devastation overwhelms a poor country like ours. Thousands are in need of urgent medical help. We are reaching out to the victims with all means at our disposal. At this hour of darkness, we are encouraged by the show of support by our friends from abroad.

20 May: The Church is one of those in the forefront of aid delivery. Our network has reached some of the remotest villages with the first delivery of aid.

26 July: Women are emerging as the great healers. In tattered homes, they bring hope with calmness. Our people are turning out to be wounded healers, encouraging one another to start once again.

25 December
: To the people of Myanmar, this is a special Christmas. Caritas members came in strongly through the experts who arrived on the third day of the disaster to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Myanmar Church in its herculean task of doing good.

The robust support of all Caritas members became the light that shone through the darkness of those black days. The accompaniment of good people brings hope – beyond disaster response. The delta was a valley of death. But today life asserts once again, in the fields, along the waterways, in the rebuilt houses and schools.