UN seeks $187 mn for Myanmar’s cyclone victims

May 10th, 2008 - 1:31 am ICT by admin  

New York, May 9 (DPA) The United Nations Friday appealed for $187 million to fund international efforts to assist Myanmar’s 1.5 million people affected by Cyclone Nargis. The appeal was launched at UN headquarters in New York as Myanmar’s military junta has yet to authorise the unhindered delivery of relief goods to the victims threatened by famine, diseases and floods.

The amount sought should cover three months of most essential needs, including plastic sheeting, water purification materials, water receptacles, cooking sets, mosquito nets, emergency health kits and food, the UN said in a comprehensive study of the emergency relief needs.

The amount will be revised regularly to reflect the actual needs of people living in areas destroyed by Nargis, which hit the vast delta region in southern Myanmar and former capital Yangon last weekend.

An estimated 23,000 people were killed and 40,000 others remained missing.

An estimated 13 million people of Myanmar’s 53 million population live in areas hit by the cyclone. The most severely affected population was estimated at 1.5 million.

“The toll of people killed, missing or affected remain difficult to assess, with the numbers continuing to increase daily,” the appeal said. The UN has been relying on the Myanmar government’s information and has no independent way to verify the casualty figures.

The appeal was made to UN members with a warning of current difficulties to gain access to the affected areas, the delivery of relief goods and the degrees of uncertainty on the ground in Myanmar.

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