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Private Sector Support After Burma Cyclone Hailed

UN relief wing hails private sector support to aid appeals after Myanmar cyclone

19 June 2008 - Private sector donors have emerged as a vital contributor to international appeals for aid after last month's devastating cyclone in Myanmar, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

About $30 million in contributions has been provided by the private sector, including $10 million raised by the various national committees of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) around the world.

OCHA said the biggest individual private contributors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given $3 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and Total oil company, which has given $2 million and provided fuel to transport relief supplies.

Many companies are channelling their donations through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which is managed by OCHA so that funds can be quickly directed in the wake of a disaster.

More than 134,000 people are dead or missing as a result of Cyclone Nargis and the subsequent tidal wave, which struck Myanmar on 2-3 May, and as many as 2.4 million people are affected. The Ayeyarwady Delta area and the country's most populous city, Yangon, are among the hardest-hit areas.

Meanwhile, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled its action plan to try to prevent the spread of dengue fever, which is endemic to Myanmar. The number of cases is expected to rise because of a forecast increase in mosquito breeding sites after the cyclone.

ENDS

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