[ALERT] Update: Cyclone Nargis Devastates Myanmar: ADRA Expands Response
Silver Spring, Maryland--In a continued effort to assist the survivors of Cyclone Nargis, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has committed at least $235,000 in emergency funds for immediate disaster relief, and is providing food assistance and medical supplies to communities in the hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta region in southern Myanmar.
In partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), ADRA has begun the distribution of 20 metric tons of rice to an estimated 20,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Laputta, a rice-trading town in the delta which has become a refuge for thousands of people who escaped low-lying villages after a devastating 12-foot storm surge swept away homes, destroying, in some instances, more than 95 percent of buildings. ADRA’s food distribution activities are expected to increase in the following days, as more supplies become available.
ADRA International, through a partnership with World Emergency Response (WER), shipped 20 medicine packs containing medical supplies valued at approximately $129,000 to be used by a medical team already providing first aid assistance to residents of an isolated part of the delta. Each pack provides about 1,500 treatments from mixed medicines, antiseptics, and antibiotics. In a separate shipment donated by Heart to Heart International, ADRA has sent 150 lbs. of medical supplies, including broad-spectrum antibiotics, analgesics, vitamins, topical creams, oral rehydration salts, anti-amebic drugs, bandages, and disposable vinyl gloves.
ADRA’s emergency response is centered in the devastated Irrawaddy Delta region, which suffered the most damage as a result of cyclone wind speeds reaching more than 120 mph. By some estimates, between 63,000 to 100,000 people have died or are missing, and more than 1.5 million people have been left homeless and millions more have been affected and left vulnerable to diseases.
Downed trees, debris, and widespread flooding have hampered transportation efforts to and from affected areas in the delta. In many instances, reaching affected communities has only been possible by boat. Fuel has also become scarce, resulting in long lines at local gas stations.
On Sunday, May 4, a state of emergency was declared across five regions, including Yangon, Irrawaddy, Pegu, Karen and Mon, in which 24 million people live. On Monday, foreign ministry officials said they welcome international aid and relief items, such as roofing materials, plastic sheets and temporary tents, water purifying tablets, blankets, and mosquito nets.
Updates will be released as ADRA’s response efforts expand.
To send your contribution to ADRA’s emergency response effort, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give to the Myanmar Cyclone Fund at www.adra.org/myanmar_donate.
ADRA is present in 125 countries, providing community development and emergency management without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race, or ethnicity.
Additional information about ADRA can be found at http://www.adra.org/.
Author: Hearly Mayr / Nadia McGill