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 per cent 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 damaged 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.
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
ADRA UK releases:
ADRA Myanmar is one of the few international agencies on the ground, bringing immediate relief. ADRA emergency workers are evaluating the damage and responding to the most critical needs in affected areas. ADRA is working on a network-wide strategy to respond to this disaster, with funds already donated by a number of countries.
The people of Myanmar are in mourning and in desperate need. ADRA has committed itself to assist in the relief and rebuilding efforts.
ADRA has had a long-term presence in Myanmar, implementing development projects in the affected regions since 1993. The ADRA Myanmar office has already commenced relief activities with the provision of food, medical supplies and shelter.
The ADRA network was mobilised into action within hours of the cyclone hitting Myanmar. ADRA-UK director Bert Smit has been planning the international response with partner offices across Europe and the United States. Mark Castellino, ADRA-UK Programmes Director is preparing to leave for Myanmar immediately to assist with preparing proposals for the long term assistance needed to help the affected region to recover.
Due to the nature and location of the disaster ADRA-UK will not be sending containers filled with aid supplies to the region. The supplies that are needed are available locally and it is far more cost effective to send funds and then request the local ADRA office to purchase these items. This procedure will save money and, more importantly, will enable the victims to receive aid as quickly as possible.
CNN is reporting “The death toll from the cyclone that ravaged the Irrawaddy delta in Myanmar may exceed 100,000, the senior U.S. diplomat in the military-ruled country said Wednesday.”
These are personal photos from ADRA employees in Yangoon. As ADRA International releases more information on their response to cyclone Nargis, I’ll update.
Hearly Mayr, Director of Public Awareness, ADRA International has written that ADRA will be releasing more information about how they will be deploying their resources in the affected region.
A billboard that had been blown over near the Shwedagon Pagoda
Corinna and Marcel Wagner (ADRA Myanmar Programs and Country Director)
State radio reported that more than 41,000 others were missing in the wake of Asia’s deadliest storm since 1991.
(An apartment building that lost its roof)
With the death toll expected to mount and as many as 1 million possibly left homeless, the international community was poised to deliver aid to the military-ruled country, which normally keeps out most foreign officials and restricts their access inside the country.
Some aid agencies reported their assessment teams had reached areas of the largely isolated region but said getting in supplies and large numbers of aid workers would be difficult.
Joakim and a fallen tree
The ADRA office is on the 4th floor, this tree is blocking access in and out of the office.
Photo credit: Last two: Steve Tasker, all others: Quentin Cambell, International Program Coordinator for ADRA Australia.