Humanitarian agencies seek funds for cyclone emergency in Myanmar

December 1, 2010 10:23 am 

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 1 — Humanitarian agencies in Myanmar require an estimated 53 million U.S. dollars to respond to the needs of at least 260,000 people who were affected by Cyclone Giri that battered the western coast of the Southeast Asian country last month, destroying thousands of homes, infrastructure and farms, the United Nations reported here Tuesday.

The cyclone left at least 45 people dead or missing and nearly 102,000 people remain homeless, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Some 17,500 acres of farmland and nearly 50,000 acres of aquaculture ponds were also destroyed, OCHA said.

The storm also washed away roads and bridges, leaving some parts of the affected area only accessible by boat, OCHA said in an update.

Cyclone Giri, a category-four storm, made landfall in Rakhine State on Oct. 22, close to the town of Kyaukpyu. The townships of Kyaukpyu, Myebon, Minbya and Pauktaw were badly hit by the storm, reports said.

The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, has approved the allocation of approximately 6 million U.S. dollars from the OCHA-managed Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to finance projects to assist those affected. The projects include education, emergency shelter, food aid, health services, livelihood assistance, nutrition, water and sanitation and logistics.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) and its partners are finalizing preparations for a food distribution in December. An estimated 3, 300 tonnes of mixed food items will be distributed to some 200,000 beneficiaries.

As of the end of last week, over 9,300 tarpaulins had been distributed. In addition, 6,037 emergency shelter kits are in the final stage of distribution to beneficiaries in the affected area. The cyclone response effort has so far cost 18 million dollars, according to OCHA. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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