During an international conference this week in Yangon, World Vision emphasized the importance of greater access for staff and supplies to Myanmar's hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta. (Last updated May 26)
Please note: If a sponsored child is directly affected by a crisis or disaster, it is World Vision's policy to notify that child's sponsor as soon as possible.
Packaged World Vision relief supplies, shown here, have been flown to Myanmar from Frankfurt, Germany, and Singapore.
Photo ©2008 World Vision staff
World Vision has been able to increase its humanitarian response on the ground in Myanmar by sending additional aid workers and supplies into the country, but increased access is still required to reach cyclone survivors in need of relief.
Five foreign staff with expertise in distribution, logistics, water and sanitation, and human resources arrived in Myanmar on May 20 — joining nearly 600 staffers who have been actively responding since the opening days of the cyclone.
Please be in prayer for the cyclone survivors and our staff members who are working hard to assist them.
Setting priorities to enhance relief efforts
On May 25, World Vision joined diplomats, U.N. officials, and the government of Myanmar in an unprecedented conference to address the humanitarian needs of thousands of cyclone survivors living in Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta.
World Vision welcomed the government's commitment to receiving international staff and aid, but was eager to establish how this would include reaching those in the delta and for how long.
In advance of the international conference in Yangon, World Vision highlighted three key priorities that would lead to immediate and practical solutions to help reach thousands of cyclone survivors:
- Greater access for staff and supplies into the delta
- An appropriate and accessible funding mechanism for immediate and long-term needs
- Effective and practical coordination of the aid response
World Vision's international staff will also work with World Vision's community development experts in Myanmar — who are all nationals — on building their skills in applying humanitarian standards to aid delivery and shelter provision.
Progress, but work remains
In addition to technical experts who arrived in Myanmar on May 20, World Vision has sent in relief flights loaded with supplies, including 2.3 million water purification tablets, 5,000 tarps, 5,000 kitchen sets, 5,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 mosquito nets, and two water purification systems that can purify up to 4,000 gallons of water per hour.
Living on rice
Read the story of Ko Oo, 9, who lived with his family in a rice mill for two weeks after Cyclone Nargis wiped out their home.
Flights have landed from Singapore, and another originated from Frankfurt, Germany, via Bangkok, Thailand.
"Our response to this disaster can be scaled up significantly if commitments are followed through. We need more access for international staff and supplies into the hardest-hit areas," said Steve Goudswaard, manager of World Vision's response to Cyclone Nargis. "More than three weeks on and the priorities are the same. We need to get shelter, food, water and health care to thousands affected by this disaster."
World Vision seeks $19 million from its global donors to support the first six months of its response. We have raised more than $10 million so far — including $5.6 million from private and public donors in the United States. Given adequate access to hard-hit areas, our teams estimate that nearly 500,000 cyclone survivors can be reached.
Three ways you can help
Please pray for the survivors of this deadly cyclone in Myanmar. Pray that relief organizations like World Vision would quickly acquire the resources needed to provide emergency aid to desperate children and families.
>> Donate now
to help provide relief for survivors of the cyclone. Your contribution will help World Vision provide emergency aid to children and families devastated by this disaster.
>> Give monthly
to help World Vision deliver emergency aid to children and families in the wake of disasters around the world, like the recent cyclone in Myanmar.