UN offers emergency funding to Myanmar (Lead)

May 6th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by admin  

Geneva, May 6 (DPA) UN said Tuesday it was prepared to provide urgent funding for Myanmar from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) after Cyclone Nargis left an estimated 15,000 people dead. The total population of the declared disaster areas is estimated at 24 million. Authorities in Myanmar have declared five regions disaster zones; Yangon, Irrawaddy, Bago, Mon and Kayin, according to the UN.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said in a statement issued in Geneva: “The Government of Myanmar has indicated that they are open to international assistance. We appreciate the Government’s announcement that it is making available $5 million from its own resources for emergency relief and I am ready to allocate a significant amount from the CERF as the most urgent needs become clear. ”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday the UN’s efforts to assist cyclone-hit Myanmar have been hampered by the lack of information about the extent of destruction.

“The UN will do whatever it can to provide urgent humanitarian assistance,” Ban said, adding that it would need more information about the problems and needs in the country.

The UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, whose office in Myanmar includes UN agencies, the Red Cross Movement, and international and non-government organizations, said that urgent needs included plastic sheeting, water purification tablets, cooking sets, mosquito nets and emergency health kits and food.

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