Cyclone Nargis hit the Myanmar delta region in the early hours of Saturday morning (3 May). State media in Myanmar have reported a death toll of 78,000 to date and another 1.5 million displaced.
As the days go by and our understanding of conditions in southern Myanmar becomes a little clearer, the picture is becoming bleaker. Current reports suggest that 1.5 million people are now homeless.
We have made grants of $1 million so far to organizations working inside Myanmar to deliver relief to 22,000 people in the Ayeyarwaddy and Yangon regions. Though transportation around the affected area remains extremely difficult, these organizations have excellent networks of national staff and volunteers who can move freely around the country. They are distributing essential life-saving items such as rice, beans and oil, drinking water, soap, clothes, family first aid kits, and plastic sheeting for emergency shelter. They are also repairing damaged wells and providing basic sanitation facilities – activities essential for preventing the spread of disease.
Myanmar cyclone: Frequently Asked Questions
While Oxfam does not currently run operational programs in Myanmar, we are preparing for the possibility that this situation might change. We have put a team and equipment on standby in the eventuality that we are able to run a significant humanitarian program in the country. In the meantime we continue to channel our aid effort through partner organizations with a mixture of cash funding, technical expertise and equipment where required. We also will be working in conjunction with the UN and other agencies to respond to immediate needs and support people’s recovery.
How you can help
You can donate to the general emergency fund of your nearest national Oxfam affiliate. Your money will be used to fund our emergency work worldwide, which includes responding in countries such as Myanmar.