SEATTLE, May 9, 2008
- $1 million will meet one-third of funding needed for initial 30-day response
- World Vision’s initial response includes distributions of food, shelter materials, clothing
—Humanitarian agency World Vision today announced a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its emergency relief response to last weekend’s devastating cyclone in Myanmar. Conditions are worsening in Myanmar as the death toll continues to rise and survivors suffer from the lack of essential supplies such as clean water, food and shelter.
The grant will fund the purchase and distribution of food and water, as well as shelter, hygiene and cooking materials. It will also help with longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, and will focus on the most vulnerable groups affected by the cyclone, including women and children.
“Our staff face many challenges as they respond to this overwhelming crisis,” said Rein Paulson, World Vision’s senior director for humanitarian and emergency affairs, based in the United States. “This donation will provide desperately needed resources to help save lives in the short-term and to support the people of Myanmar as they rebuild.”
World Vision’s staff responded within hours to the damage caused by Cyclone Nargis last weekend. Staff members have distributed 35 metric tons of rice and 18,000 liters of drinking water, as well as shelter materials, dehydration treatment and diesel fuel to allow generators to continue to pump water.
“World Vision’s long-standing presence in Myanmar will ensure that emergency relief will be distributed quickly and efficiently to help the victims of this terrible tragedy,” said Chip Lyons, director of special initiatives, Global Development Program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
The spread of disease is an immediate threat as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to cope with living in camps, schools, monasteries and in damaged homes without enough food and in unsanitary conditions. Children are especially vulnerable as they face emotional trauma after seeing families and communities torn apart by the cyclone.
World Vision has worked in Myanmar for some 40 years and currently assists children and families across the country through food assistance, agriculture, health, clean water, education, income generation, anti-trafficking and nutritional assistance programs.
:: More about the Myanmar cyclone response
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people -- especially those with the fewest resources -- have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Patty Stonesifer and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.