Yangon, Myanmar, July 18, 2008
—Monday’s launch of an assessment into the conditions facing Myanmar’s cyclone-affected communities is expected to highlight the urgent need for livelihood recovery activities. World Vision, the international aid agency which helped conduct the assessment, is already providing hand tractors and fuel to farmers in the delta region who lost tools and animals in the storm.
“As we look beyond the initial relief response, it’s critical that we support those affected to get back on their feet earning an income once again,” said World Vision’s response manager, Judy Moore.
The Post-Nargis Joint Assessment (PONJA) will be released on July 21 in Yangon and Singapore. The findings reflect World Vision’s long-term response, which will focus on livelihood interventions, a cornerstone of recovery.
After assisting some 280,000 people with initial relief items, World Vision has begun providing hand tractors and fuel to farmers in Bogolay Township in the hard-hit delta region. Many fields were inundated with salt water, making planting difficult without de-salinating the fields or obtaining salt-resistant seeds.
“This season’s planting period is coming to an end,” said Moore. “For those farmers who are unable to plant in time, support will be needed for months to come.”
World Vision is particularly concerned about landless farming families who are likely to be among the most vulnerable.
"Those who are landless or own just a small plot of land are the hardest hit,” said a World Vision field manager, who has been in the Ayeyawaddy Delta since May. “With very limited job opportunities and ruined rice paddies, they are very concerned about what the future will hold.”
He added that although some delta farmers had managed to plant, despite very limited resources, many did not expect much from this planting season. “They plant to eat, not for income,” said the field manager.
May’s Cyclone Nargis was one of the worst natural disasters to affect a single country in decades. Some 138,000 people were left dead and missing, and a further 2.4 million were affected.
Before offering more financial support for the response to Cyclone Nargis, governments and international donors demanded a comprehensive assessment into the conditions facing those affected. In answer to this call, the PONJA was conducted with the support of the Government of Myanmar, ASEAN, the United Nations, and NGOs responding to Nargis, including World Vision.
World Vision’s 580 staff in Myanmar began responding almost immediately. The agency’s long-term response will prioritize livelihoods recovery, including agricultural development and economic diversification. World Vision programs will also focus on water and sanitation and child protection activities.
Donations are still needed for long-term recovery activities. The public can contribute at www.worldvision.org
or by calling 1.888.56.CHILD.
World Vision staff are available for interviews. Please contact Rachel Wolff at 253.394.2214 or Rwolff@worldvision.org or Casey Calamusa at 206.310.5476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.