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Myanmar Catastrophe: Why aren’t we talking about this?

May 7, 2008

From NPR: Twenty-two thousand people are confirmed dead in Myanmar (formerly Burma), and as many as 41,000 are still missing after a cyclone hit the region on Monday. Most of the deaths are from a huge storm surge that hit the low lying coastal region. As many as 2 miilion people are without homes.

At least this time, unlike after the Dec. 06 Tsunami, Myanmar is requesting aid from international relief agencies. But the Junta is being picky about how the aid/relief will be administrated and who will be allowed to do the administrating. (Shocking, no?)

The aftermath may be worse than the actual catastrophic event as survivors contend with a lack of water and food, and have to contend with the spread of disease in a country well known to be a medical night mare.

Shrub has offered up the Navy to help retrieve bodies, and to rescue survivors, but, they will need access to determine the extent of services needed, etc. The Junta fears an American military presence and have not acquiesesed to allow them to help at this point. So far, none of the aid offerred by the US has reached Myanmar – hold ups with Visa’s, etc. are being blamed.

International relief funds are trickling in to the area, but, most countries are rightly worried about the fact that the government is insisting on handling the funds directly and determining where they will go. Given what is known about the Junta, it’s a legitimate concern.

Ugh.

Dignity International, an organization a dear friend of mine works for, has identified Care and Concern as two organizations collecting funds to provide disaster relief. Episcopal Relief and Development is also getting involved.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2008 10:01 am

    The more people killed, the fewer remain to resist the junta? Soon only the rulers themselves will be left in the country. That should get interesting.

  2. May 8, 2008 11:41 am

    I heard as many as 100 000 dead last night. It is going to rival the 2004 tsunami now.

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