May 9th, 2008
04:46 PM ET

Update: Aid for Myanmar Cyclone Victims

Kay Jones
360° Editorial Producer

I’ve been speaking with several aid groups about the relief efforts (or lack of right now) in Myanmar. Here’s the latest info from AmeriCares:

"A plane holding 15 tons of emergency medical supplies is loaded and ready to take off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as soon as it receives clearance to land in Myanmar. AmeriCares – a nonprofit international relief organization – is sending the aid to help bring relief and comfort to the victims of Cyclone Nargis. The shipment contains medicines such as antibiotics, analgesics, ointments and multivitamins as well as medical equipment and supplies to treat the immediate needs of those injured and to help prevent the anticipated spread of illness and disease throughout the region."

Hopefully, with word of a US cargo plane being allowed to bring aid into the country, the governing military junta in Myanmar will be more open to other aid groups. We’ll keep on it and keep you updated here and on 360°.

If you’d like to help, you can check out Impact Your World at CNN.com.

Filed under: Myanmar
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Missy

    For once I have no desire to help by contributing because of the government blocking any aid. Where would my contributions go? Plus I do wonder how many of these charities actually use my donation for the cause and not their wallets.

    May 10, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  2. Mark Stewart, Detroit Renaissance Center

    Gee guys! Like, why is the food going anywhere but to the Myanmar Junta. That's what they'va been doing with aid for decades.

    May 10, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  3. Doug

    The only solution to avoid a situation that will make Dafur look like nothing is for the UN to immediately declare a "safe zone" and for the international community to step in and provide direct aid. The government does not care about its own people and will continue to stall while this crisis escalates. Even the government's close friends (China, Thailand, India) are unable to pressure them to allow help. Having been in Burma recently and being in touch with friends there since the typhoon, conditions are much worse than being reported. As my friends say, missing means dead. The death/missing toll is much greater that what has been reported to date and will expand exponentially as the weeks pass. Remember the people of Burma in your prayers.

    May 10, 2008 at 10:03 am |
  4. Peter

    Should the U.S. drop food in Myanmar without the military junta's permission?.. i dont think so.....why should we ignore myanmar's government order not to come into there contry? let them handle the situation if they can.....

    May 10, 2008 at 1:04 am |
  5. Frank, Florida

    $3.25 Million. That is the U.S. contribution to the disaster relief effort in Myanmar, where possiblly over 100,000 have died. A measly, pitiful, insulting, frankly shameful amount. When I heard that number, I wanted to cry. Whether the ruling military junta is stopping the supplies from going in, whatever else they are not doing, we as the most powerful and weathy nation on earth, is not as much as lifting a little finger to help. I have never been so disgusted with this government.

    May 10, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  6. Al

    CNN should try to provide accurate data not wild estimates on Myanmar. Yes people have died and homes destroyed and the poor need aid. They are always in need. However, the Gov't in Yangon will evntually know exactly how many have died because every Citizen is in a Register which is kept current. This is true of all of Asia. A change of Residence is infrequent and requires notifying the local Authority. In Viet Nam this document is a Ho Khau. A large percentage of the destroyed homes are simple Bamboo, Palm, and Mud constructions The roof of most concrete structures is simply sheet metal and wood supports. In a country such as Myanmar stating 100, 000 deaths within 48 hours is a guess. I suspect that a guess of 5000 or 15000 would have equal validity. How & Why the extreme poor dispose of their dead requires an understanding of their culture. As for the flooded land, one needs to understand the process by which they grow their Rice, up to 4 crops annually. Many farmers pump water into and out of their bermed fields to plant and harvest crops. This is a region of countless Typhoons and the people have centuries of experience in recovering from their effects. This is not intended to suggest that aid is not required or should not be given. It is to say that the type of aid is as important as how much.

    May 9, 2008 at 11:24 pm |
  7. Kent, Illinois

    I hope the people actually GET the supplies that are sent to them. The problem with these people is they may keep the supplies to SELL THE SUPPLIES. The needy may never get the things they need. Greed is terrible.

    May 9, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  8. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I just read Dan Rivers report on his experiences in Burma. I'm glad they are back safely. Unreal what the priority is for the junta, though. I cannot believe it's a week and food and meds and water and other basics are sort of being allowed in at the junta's discretion with tons of disclaimers. Something is better than nothing assuming it's getting to those who need it. Big ol' assumption. This still floors me that their people matter so little now and in the long-term. The dots really don't connect on this one. I just hope that the voices of these people aren't forgotten in the government's attempt to make these victims invisible to the world.

    May 9, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  9. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    I hope you're right about the U.S. cargo plane being allowed to bring aid into Burma. I know they have been positioned several Navy ships nearby to make helicopter drops. I had heard today that the UN World Food Program announced that they were suspending all aid shipments to Burma following the junta's seizure of all food and equipment of the WFP.

    The top generals in Naypyrdaw have accepted aid mainly from countries that are not critical of the regime. The junta first accepted aid from Thailand, India, and China. They also accepted aid from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. Observers have said the distribution system is poorly managed and largely ineffective.

    The Burmese government has recently deported a number of foreign aid workers, including two UN disaster experts. The U.S. and France are pressuring the UN to back calls for a massive multinational "invasion" of relief teams into the Irrawaddy delta region regardless of whether or not they have the Burmese regime approval. French diplomats point to UN provisions allowing breaches of National Sovereignty if a government fails to protect its own people when catastrophe strikes. The British, who have pledged nearly $5 million in aid, feels this would put more victims in jeopardy. It may be viewed as an act of resistance to Burma's extremely powerful army.

    In Burma, on Saturday May 10th, there is a scheduled referendum vote on the draft constitution, a constitution designed to entrench military power indefinitely. The UN Secretary-General has tried to urge Senior General Than Shwe to postpone the vote, and focus on the relief effort aimed at the survivors of cyclone Nargis. But so far, Than Shwe has not responded and has given no indication that the referendum vote will be postponed.

    May 9, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  10. Lilibeth

    Hi Kay, thanks for your blog about Burma. Hopefully, the government there will keep on allowing more aid groups to come into their country. Thanks for keeping us updated and please do keep on following this story.

    Thanks also for posting the link so we can help, but it's not working. I got the following message:

    Not Found
    Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.
    – – – –

    Please edit your link. I used the "Impact Your World" link at the top of the home page instead and donated from there.

    Edmonds, Washington

    May 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  11. Cindy

    I hope that they start allowing aid from everyone to be brought in and distributed. They need all of the help that they can get! I hope that this isn't another case of the aid gets there but then the junta seize and keep it. What good is that going to do if they can't get it out to the people effectually?

    May 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm |