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UN Increases Aid for Myanmar Flood Victims

  • VOA News

A boy receives food as a man waits near half-submerged residences in Nyaung Tone, in the Irrawaddy Delta, southwest of Yangon, Myanmar, Aug. 7, 2015. Dozens have died from recent weeks of flooding and more than hundreds of thousands have been affected.

A boy receives food as a man waits near half-submerged residences in Nyaung Tone, in the Irrawaddy Delta, southwest of Yangon, Myanmar, Aug. 7, 2015. Dozens have died from recent weeks of flooding and more than hundreds of thousands have been affected.

The United Nations is stepping up its emergency aid to Myanmar, where massive floods have killed at least 88 people in the country's Irrawaddy delta region.

Hundreds of thousands have also been displaced as rising rivers continue to overtake homes, creating a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country, also known as Burma.

International aid has been pouring in.

UN aid

The U.N. said Friday it will contribute $9 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to help aid agencies providing assistance in the region.

"These funds will help provide people with emergency shelter, safe water supply, sanitation, food, critical health care, and other services at a time when they are in desperate need," said a U.N. statement.

FILE - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, rides a boat as she leaves after visiting a monastery where flood victims are sheltered in Bago, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015.

FILE - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, rides a boat as she leaves after visiting a monastery where flood victims are sheltered in Bago, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015.

The world body estimates at least $47 million is required to provide adequate emergency aid.

About 6.2 million people live in the region, an area where the Irrawaddy and other rivers branch out into a delta leading to the sea. Four areas have been declared disaster zones.

The flooding has devastated millions of hectares of farmland and killed animals that many rely on for their livelihood.

International aid

Earlier in the week, Washington said it would provide $600,000 in aid to help flood victims. Japan has pledged $150,000 in aid, while Vietnam is providing clean water worth $20,000.

Aid groups and volunteers have told VOA Burmese that relief workers are struggling to reach some hard-hit areas.

The U.N. Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance in Yangon has said the agency is trying to gain access to the affected areas.

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi Thursday posted a video on Facebook in which she appealed for more international help, emphasizing this year's monsoon season is not over yet.

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