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Donations needed for Burmese Aid Effort

Media Release: 8 May 2008


Donations needed for Burmese Aid Effort

Christian World Service has expanded its emergency response to a full scale appeal after Cyclone Nargis hit large sections of coastal Burma.

An estimated one million people have been made homeless by the worst cyclone in the region since 1991. So far a reported 21,500 people have been reported dead and another 40,000 missing although the true toll may never be known in a country that has not held a full census since 1937.

The storm that first hit Burma in the evening of May 2 struck the country’s main agricultural region, the Irrawaddy delta. Profiteering is already starting to grip those coping in the storm’s aftermath, with prices on food, fuel and building supplies shooting up 300 percent.

Christian World Service has received initial reports of the widespread devastation from local partners working through ACT International (Action by Churches Together). Without power or telephone lines communication is difficult. CWS is anticipating receiving a fuller assessment with the arrival of regional international emergency response personnel today.

“The first priority is food,” says Jonathan Fletcher, National Director. ACT partners are already distributing the small supplies available to them and are looking to source larger quantities in a way that doesn’t adversely affect local food markets in light of the food crisis that existed prior to the devastation.

“In such wide scale disasters it is critical to work with local people who know the situation best - even more so in Burma where the military government’s control over the local economy, political life and communications has hindered development for so long,” he adds.


To donate: phone 0800 74 73 72 or go to www.cws.org.nz


ENDS

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