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Rachel Wolff
253.394.2214 (c)

Casey Calamusa
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World Vision response in Myanmar bolstered by additional staff and supplies

  • Channels of relief opening up; access to delta for foreign aid workers still limited
  • Agency’s relief effort aims to reach half a million people in Yangon, delta region
  • “There is an urgent need on the ground, and we cannot wait any longer”
  • Agency appeals for $19 million from global donors; more than $10 million raised so far

Yangon, Myanmar, May 21, 2008—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 the organization cautions that 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 Tuesday morning—joining nearly 600 staffers who have been actively responding since the opening days of the cyclone.

In addition to technical experts, World Vision is sending 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. The aid agency had been reaching survivors with relief items purchased in-country to this point.

Two flights have already landed from Singapore, and one flight is scheduled from Frankfurt via Bangkok. An additional flight from Singapore is being scheduled for next week.

“We are seeing some indications that the channels of relief into Myanmar might be opening up,” said Steve Goudswaard, Cyclone Nargis Response Manager for World Vision.

“We are hopeful that in the coming days, we will be able to begin expanding our humanitarian aid operation to reach more survivors with food, water, shelter materials, household kit and medical care. There is an urgent need on the ground, we are trying to respond to.”

While the additional staff workers and relief aid are welcome, there is still much more work to be done. World Vision estimates it can help close to 500,000 people for the next six months if it is allowed to have greater access to the hardest-hit areas in the delta region and can bring in additional materials to distribute the aid as quickly and efficiently as possible. While the agency is reaching select communities in the delta, overall access remains limited and is hampering access to relief for those who need it the most.

World Vision is appealing for $19 million from its global donors to support the first six months of its response. The agency has raised more than $10 million so far—including $5.6 million from private and public donors in the U.S.

END

World Vision staff in the region are available for interviews. Please contact Rachel Wolff at 253.394.2214 or Rwolff@worldvision.org or Casey Calamusa at 206.310.5476 or ccalamus@worldvision.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.
 

Who Is World Vision?

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..



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