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Burma Cyclone Now A "Man-Made Catastrophe" - UK PM

Burma Cyclone Now A "Man-Made Catastrophe" - PM

Gordon Brown has criticised the "despicable regime" in Burma for obstructing aid and turning the cyclone Nargis disaster into a "man-made catastrophe".

Speaking to MPs during Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Brown said that current access to affected areas was "not good enough" and that he had asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to hold an emergency summit to co-ordinate the international aid effort.

The PM said:

"There has been an improvement but it is not good enough. It is not good enough because of the needs of the 1.5 million people who face famine or distress and it is not good enough because the regime is still preventing aid getting to the rest of the country".

A UK aid plane has landed in the capital Rangoon carrying shelters for around 45,000 people. The next few days should see 60 more aid flights to the city, the PM said.

The PM said that HMS Westminster was standing offshore, ready to join waiting US and French forces in distributing aid should the military government in Burma grant greater access.

ENDS

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