Monsoon season threatens Nargis victims

Mar 31, 2009 (DVB), Appeals have gone out to the international community for a substantial increase in funds and support for victims of cyclone Nargis, four weeks before the onset of monsoon season in the Burma.

The Tripartite Core Group, comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United Nations and the Burmese government, made an appeal today for help in raising the estimated US$691 million needed for early and medium term recovery efforts.

"Although much work has been done to restore the cyclone affected communities, great needs remain," said the TCG chairman, U Kyaw Thu.

"A rapid provision of funds at this juncture will help strengthen the positive gains made over the last ten months."

With the onset of monsoon season in the Irrawaddy delta, the area hardest hit by the cyclone, appeal has placed particular emphasis on addressing the needs of the shelter and agriculture sectors, said Thailand’s Ambassador to Myanmar, and senior member of ASEAN, Bansarn Bunnag.

According to the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment report, following the destruction of nearly 800,000 homes during the cyclone, around 100,000 families remain in vulnerable shelters which provide only minimal protection from the possible severe weather conditions.

"Experience from natural disasters of similar scale of destruction has shown that recovery support will be required for years to come," said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli.

"It is not until now, that the recovery efforts after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami may begin to phase out."

Reporting by Francis Wade

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