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Red Cross Update: Myanmar


13 May

Red Cross Update: Myanmar

As the International Red Cross’ disaster operation rolls into the second week in Myanmar, the focus is on providing assistance and relief to those affected in a practical way.

The townships of Labutta, Bogale and Pyapon, are some of the worst affected, and are the main focus of the relief efforts from the Myanmar Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. While 218 temporary shelters have been erected conditions in many of the shelters are dreadful as they are overcrowded, lack water and sanitation facilities and are a potential risk for communicable diseases.

Since the cyclone struck on 2 May, Myanmar Red Cross volunteers have been active in helping to treat injured people, providing health education in terms of basic hygiene and sanitation and establishing psychological support and family tracing with help from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

As a way of addressing some of the issues for those made homeless, the Federation plans to recruit and train local people in Yangon with basic relief management skills. Once trained these people would travel into affected areas of the delta where they could help build capacity with more volunteer recruits.

The Federation believes training local volunteers is the most effective way of giving assistance to those in need because so few international staff have been granted visas into Myanmar. Those that gain access to the country are unable to travel much beyond the limits of Yangon.

The Red Cross Movement have been able to get 10 flights carrying vital relief supplies into Myanmar so far, with regular additional flights scheduled.


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