Church aid gets through to Cyclone survivors in Myanmar
Local Church partners in Myanmar are providing food and other aid items to 10,000 people in Yangon and Irrawaddy
Local Catholic Church partners of Caritas Internationalis have begun delivering aid to the people of Myanmar following the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis.
The storm hit the Irrawaddy Delta region on 3 May and the death toll is now at 100,000 people, with parts of the country still cut off and 1.5 million people affected. The death toll is expected to rise further.
Local Church partners in Myanmar are providing food and other aid items to 10,000 people in Yangon and Irrawaddy. That figure is expected to rise to 40,000 people receiving support by Wednesday. Provisional figures put the relief effort at US $1 million for the first month. The relief items are being sourced within country at present.
Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon said, “As a Church, we are reaching out to the victims with all the means at our disposal. At this hour of darkness, we are encouraged by the show of support by our friends from abroad. There are urgent needs for food, water and shelter. Thousands are in need of medical help.”
Assessment teams have reported back. One staff member, speaking anonymously, said, “I was in Phyapon, far off down the Irrawaddy River. The bodies of human beings and cattle were still in the water. We reached a destroyed village. We were the first outsiders they had seen.
“To my eyes, that have seen the Asia tsunami and the Kashmir earthquake, it was overwhelming. Nature unleashed an orgy of death. Women explained how the waves took their babes. As our boat moved along, a body of a small boy drifted past.
“People have no drinking water or food or shelter. Children are eating coconut shells. Dead animals are everywhere. There is a terrible smell. There were many refugees, living in roofless churches and monasteries. Help has not reached them. We are doing what is possible. In the last two days, we have reached out to the starving people.”
Caritas works before, during and after an emergency, supporting people to rebuild their own lives.
For more information, please contact Caritas Internationalis Head of Communications Patrick Nicholson on 0039 06 698 79725 or 0039 334 3590700 or email@example.com.
Interviews are available in English, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish and Thai.