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Friday, November 27, 2009

U.N. Calls For More Myanmar Storm Aid

INO.com
Nov 27 2009


(RTTNews) - The United Nations has called for more aid for hundreds of thousands of people still living in makeshift shelters 18 months after Cyclone Nargis killed over 140,000 people in Myanmar.

International donors have pledged a fresh $88m for 17,800 new houses, 40 new schools and livelihood programs for one million people but the amount falls short of the $103m sought for the period until July by the world body and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional grouping that includes Myanmar.

Bishow Parajuli, the U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Myanmar, said Wednesday that the amount falls far short of what is needed and what is reflected is not what is needed. It is a much-reduced version of what may be possible to do between now and July, he added.

The U.N. says 178,000 families need help with shelter and the shortfall in funds will leave about 100,000 families without a proper home. Most of those families are living in makeshift homes covered with threadbare tarpaulins distributed in the early phase of the relief effort, according to aid workers.

Srinivasa Popuri, the leader of a shelter aid group in Myanmar said that "the materials have gone through two monsoons and they won't last another season".

Cyclone Nargis swept through Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta May 2008, flattening villages, destroying 450,000 houses, killing 140,000 people and leaving 2.4 million destitute.

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