BANGKOK, Thailand, May 14, 2008
- Myanmar: World Vision to aid nearly half a million cyclone survivors
- China: Relief teams arriving on the scene, providing initial supplies to 10,000 people
—As the Asia region reels from two massive disasters, Christian aid agency World Vision is on the ground, providing emergency aid to survivors of both the Myanmar cyclone and China earthquake.
As the death toll from Monday’s 7.9 earthquake continues to rise, World Vision offices close to the epicenter have dispatched a relief and assessment team to provide immediate supplies, such as blankets and tents, to 10,000 people, with more supplies on the way. The agency has appealed for $1 million to support the initial response.
Sichuan province, where the quake centered, is a densely populated region, increasing the chance that the death toll could climb higher.
In Myanmar, World Vision will also be providing aid to nearly half a million cyclone survivors if it can get the additional funds, expertise and supplies to the affected areas. Staff on the ground are already seeing cases of waterborne diseases, and the health status of children is of critical concern.
The international aid agency’s local team has been working around the clock to assist more than 100,000 children and adults with things like water, clothing and temporary shelters.
Steve Goudswaard, World Vision’s cyclone response manager, said, “We are now getting relief supplies into the delta area where there is staggering need. If we can maintain the access to survivors and increase our supplies, we will be able to reach almost half a million people.”
An operation base has been set up in the eastern part of the delta in a town called Pyapon — about a four-hour drive from Yangon — through which aid is beginning to flow. World Vision staff have been trucking emergency kits, assembled by staff in Yangon, down to the base. Pyapon is close to three of the worst affected townships in the delta region.
The aid deliveries began to move after the government permitted access to those in need. World Vision has complete control of the supply and distribution of its aid.
Although relief goods are being bought in-country at this point, World Vision hopes to bring in aid flights from one of its global warehouses in Dubai in the next few days — as soon as it receives clearance from the government of Myanmar.
The current short-term emergency response phase will be followed by a two- to three-year rehabilitation and reconstruction phase. World Vision plans to increase the number of its staff from the current 580 and provide specialized training to ensure an effective response.
The public can donate to one or both of these disaster responses by visiting www.worldvision.org
or calling 1.888.56.CHILD.
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.