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Salvation Army launches Myanmar appeal

The Salvation Army
Media Release

Salvation Army launches Myanmar appeal

Wellington, 7 May 2008. - The Salvation Army in New Zealand has launched an appeal to help the millions of people believed to have been left homeless by the devastating cyclone that hit Myanmar.

Early figures indicate that Cyclone Nargis killed more than 22,000 people, with more than 41,000 missing and hundreds of thousands more thought to be homeless.

Salvation Army workers in Myanmar have been providing cooked meals, handing out rice and making available clean water to those who are desperately in need in the Yangon area.

A Salvation Army assessment team from the region is en route to Myanmar and will work on plans to meet the most immediate needs.

A New Zealander who heads the Salvation Army in Myanmar, Commissioner David Bringans, says that the situation is very serious, with a lack of clean water, food and power.

'Millions of people live in the affected parts of Myanmar and the full extent of the loss of life and destruction is yet to be assessed.

'The lack of drinking water is particularly bad because if people get desperate and start using contaminated water then there could be a flow-on effect causing serious illnesses.'

Salvation Army Territorial Secretary for Overseas Development, Major Jan Smithies - who served as Regional Commander for Myanmar for three years - says that in the weeks and months to come there will be a great need for financial support for relief efforts in Myanmar.

'Kiwis who would like to show their support for the Myanmar people as they struggle to come to terms with the cyclone aftermath and rebuild their shattered lives are encouraged to make a donation to our Myanmar Appeal.'

Make a donation to the Myanmar Appeal fund by calling 0800-53-00-00.

The Salvation Army was first established in Myanmar in 1915 and provides a range of social services and development assistance. This includes a food distribution and food security programme; first aid; drilling for clean water; small-scale hydroelectric power schemes; a primary school; three children's homes; and a community-based HIV-AIDS programme.


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