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Burma faces fresh disaster as monsoon season approaches

One year after Cyclone Nargis swept through Burma’s Irrawaddy delta region and claimed an estimated 140,000 lives, there are still half a million people who have not been able to build adequate shelter.

With the monsoon season about to begin, the UN says the 500,000 living in ‘hopelessly vulnerable shacks, with deteriorating tarpaulins for roofs,’ are in desperate need of emergency assistance.

Ray Hasan, Christian Aid’s Asia policy spokesman, said: ‘Local organisations that we support on the ground have, since Cyclone Nargis, helped more than 26,000 families build temporary shelters.  But it is clear that much more needs to be done to protect those still at risk from further rains.’

Christian Aid raised £3.4 million for Cyclone Nargis victims last year which went towards shelter, emergency food, medical care, and counselling. The money also helped fund the regenerating of mangrove forests to protect the coastline and its communities from further storm damage.

But despite the massive aid effort, the scale of the cyclone disaster was so staggering that thousands of people have still not received adequate assistance because of lack of funds.

Christian Aid staff who have recently travelled to the delta report that there remain pockets where very little assistance has been received.

Well over a million people are still dependent on food aid, where it is available, as their main source of sustenance. Without help to regenerate the local economy, this situation could continue for years to come.

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For more information or pictures please contact Sarah Wilson on 0207 523 2277 or 07930 341 525 or swilson@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in more than 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve. 
 

For information on how to donate click on: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/current/burma_cyclone/index.aspx