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Burmese government must get out of way of relief

Burmese government must get out of the way of relief efforts

"While immediate humanitarian assistance to the people Burma is the first priority, the impact of the cyclone shows that sustainable development and poverty alleviation is dependent on institutional change in that country," says David Culverhouse, executive director of the Council for International Development.

"Relief efforts are being hampered by the regime's refusal to quickly expedite visas for international aid workers and customs procedures for aid in kind. A failure by the government to properly pass on meteorological warnings and inadequate investment in infrastructure and flood warning systems has also contributed to the scale of the disaster."

"This disaster is impacting most heavily on people who are already poor and marginalised. Reports of massive food price increases, and of food and roofing materials being sold by the government at prices out of reach of many of the victims is worrying. Slum areas around Rangoon and rural areas in the Irrawaddy delta region appear to be the worst hit."

"We are concerned that survivors of the cyclone face more dangers from contaminated water, lack of food and shelter and malaria in coming weeks and months."

"CID welcomes the response of the New Zealand government in supporting NGOs to this crisis. We call upon the government of Burma to stop hampering relief efforts," says Mr Culverhouse.

The following NZ agencies have announced appeals for those affected by the cyclone:

0800 243 575

ADRA New Zealand
09 262 5620

The Salvation Army New Zealand
0800 53 0000

Christian World Service
0800 74 73 72

Oxfam New Zealand
0800 400 666 or 0900 600 20 (automatic $29 donation)

Rotary New Zealand World Community Service
Westpac Account No. 03 1702 0192208 02

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
0800 22 10 22


Save the Children New Zealand
0800 167 168

World Vision New Zealand
0800 800 776


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