Asean, UN to help Myanmar assess cyclone damage

June 3rd, 2008 - 1:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, June 3 (Xinhua) A tripartite core group involving the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), UN and Myanmar is working to make a joint assessment of the damage in Myanmar’sm cyclone-hit areas, state media said Tuesday. In preparation to carry out the assessment, the Asean Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ERAT) is training government officials, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

The Yangon-based tripartite core group was established at an Asean-UN international pledging conference held in Yangon last month as a working mechanism for coordination, facilitating and monitoring the flow of international assistance into Myanmar’s cyclone-hit areas.

The international pledging conference, attended by 51 countries, 24 UN organisations and international NGOs, was held to seek further international financial aid commitment for Myanmar’s cyclone aid relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The meeting pledged their determination to help Myanmar overcome the cyclone tragedy and enable people to resume their normal lives as quickly as possible. The event was regarded as an important exercise towards building trust, confidence and cooperation between the Myanmar government and the international community.

Earlier, Asean also established a task force to coordinate and channel international aid to Myanmar and has been planning to send relief personnel to the cyclone-ravaged country.

The UN launched an emergency appeal to world donors for $201 million, of which 60 percent has so far been reportedly raised.

Myanmar estimated the damage and loss caused by the storm at $10.67 billion with 5.5 million people affected.

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