Lack of funds threatens Free Burma Rangers' aid efforts

Aug 27, 2008 (DVB), Relief efforts by the Free Burma Rangers to help cyclone victims in the Irrawaddy delta are under threat due to funding shortages, according to an FBR official speaking on condition of anonymity.

But the official said the group's work would continue despite the lack of funds.

"We are not going to stop providing help these victims , we will continue with it with whatever we can get from the donors. We will do as much as we can," he said.

"What we need to do now for them is a reconstruction plan. We have to help people rebuild their schools and hospitals and redevelop the farmlands."

Unlike other aid groups, FBR do not have legal permission to be inside Burma so they have to be careful to avoid confrontation with authorities, the official said.

"Authorities have been harassing our relief efforts recently, but we haven't yet heard of any of our members being arrested by them," he said.

FBR have been helping cyclone victims in the Irrawaddy delta since the cyclone hit in early May this year.

The official said the group is also providing direct help to victims of the food crisis in Chin state.

"We are carrying out rice distribution plans for the victims in Chin state’s Palatwa township," the official said.

"We send cash to our members in the area who secretly distribute food to local villagers."

Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min

Leave a reply