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World Vision one of few on ground in Myanmar

World Vision one of few on the ground distributing aid in Myanmar

As the toll continues to rise in Myanmar, World Vision New Zealand CEO Lisa Cescon says aid relief is getting through to those in need.

The agency's history of aid and development in the country means it is one of three international humanitarian organisations (including Unicef and JICA) invited by the government of Myanmar to respond, says Miss Cescon.

"This means our staff have already been involved in getting clean water to those affected by Cyclone Nargis, and our international relief staff are working to get more aid distributed."

World Vision New Zealand is appealing to New Zealanders to help raise $1 million for the Cyclone Nargis survivors in Myanmar, which killed more than 20,000 people and threatens the lives of millions more. Already, more than $25,000 has been raised from public donations.

"We're asking New Zealanders to help us get more aid through. The devastation is just huge and as the days and weeks unfold we know this toll is going to rise," she says.

World Vision staff on the ground are working to get to thousands living without access to shelter, clean water, food and electricity.

"They are reporting the country's biggest city is in total chaos," says Miss Cescon.

"The public transportation system is still paralysed by fallen trees, cables and lack of fuel. Most of the city buses are run with natural gas, but gas stations cannot open as there is no electricity."

World Vision staff are dealing with children like 2-year-old Maung Soe every day, one of millions facing another day without water and food.

Maung Soe ran for his life with his eight family members as Nargis swept their home away, and sought shelter at the local school outside Myanmar's capital Yangon. They have been there ever since. It is too dangerous to leave.

World Vision was one of the first to respond at the school where Maung Soe's family sought refuge, and it continues to be one of the only organisations providing much-needed relief for people in Yangon.

World Vision assessment teams have been deployed to the hardest-hit areas to determine the most urgent needs.

To donate to World Vision's $1 million appeal for Cyclone Nargis survivors:
- phone 0800 800 776
- visit www.worldvision.org.nz
- make an automatic $30 donation by phoning 0900 4HOPE (0900 44673)


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