The U.N. says it needs more than $300 million to assist the hardest hit
victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma. This brings its total appeal to the
international community to more than $480 million since the storm
struck in May. From U.N. headquarters, VOA Correspondent Margaret
Besheer has the story by intern Maha Saad.
U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes says that while progress has been made in aiding the
people of Burma, more humanitarian assistance is needed for the two
million people severely affected by the storm. He says this money will
continue funding the emergency relief effort through April 2009.
the revised appeal, some 13 U.N. agencies and 23 NGOs [non-governmental
organizations] are now appealing for $481.8 million all together. In
other words, $280 million beyond the initial $201 million appeal. And
given the contributions we have received to that initial appeal, that
means that $303.6 million are still needed," he said.
appeal revises an earlier one made immediately after the storm. A
current assessment highlights the unmet needs of the victims.
says the new appeal addresses 13 key areas including agriculture,
education, health, information management, and water and sanitation.
added that aid workers have been able to reach cyclone victims in all
the hardest hit areas - particularly the Irrawaddy delta and Yangon
More than 140,000 people are dead or missing. Burma's
U.N. representative, Kyaw Tint Swe, says that his government is pleased
that the international community is willing to help. He says his
government and the international community should play a role in the
"We recognize that the primary role to take care
of the victims of Cyclone Nargis is the national government's. At the
same time, the challenge posed by a natural disaster of this magnitude
can only be addressed with the help and assistance from the
international community," he said.
The Burmese ambassador says
that the Burmese government has taken steps to improve the conditions
of those severely affected, including assisting with agriculture,
distributing relief supplies, and providing temporary shelter and