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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Humanitarian community in Myanmar mobilizes support to people affected by Cyclone Giri

Please see below press release issued by the Office of the Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar on Cyclone Giri.

Source: United Nations Information Centre in Yangon (

UN agencies and international and national non-governmental organizations present in Myanmar are mobilizing aid and deploying assessment teams following the Category 4 Cyclonic Storm, which made landfall in Rakhine State on 22 October.

Yangon, 27 October 2010 --- The humanitarian community in Myanmar stands ready to scale up support in response to Cyclone Giri, following new estimates on the scale of damages shared at the monthly Myanmar Humanitarian Partnership Group meeting in Yangon.
The meeting, attended by the heads of diplomatic missions, aid agencies, UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and other members of the humanitarian community in Myanmar, received an update from the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and several UN missions and INGOs on the actions being taken in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.

The four most affected townships in Rakhine State are Kyaukpyu, Minbya, Pauktaw and Myebon. UNHCR, FAO, WFP, UNDP and UNICEF are already present in the region and are mobilizing relief efforts. Similarly, several international and local NGOs have been sending teams to the area to carry out rapid assessments and provide food and non-food items.
Preliminary reports from assessment teams on the ground indicate that the number of people affected could be higher than initially estimated. The Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) is currently collecting assessment data in seven townships in Rakhine State, seven in Magway Division and four in Sagaing Division. To date, a total of 71 villages are reported to have been affected, to various degrees, with an estimated 177,000 people affected, of which an estimated 10,000 are considered severely affected.
Although there is severe damage to infrastructure, it is reported that major loss of life has been avoided, due to early warning and an extensive evacuation of a large number of people carried out by the Government and the Red Cross in advance of the cyclone reaching the shores. The Government has also mobilized relief efforts, with a number of Ministers still on the ground in the affected areas, and has welcomed the offer of assistance from humanitarian organizations present in Myanmar.
“Good lessons have been learned from Cyclone Nargis in terms of disaster risk reduction, as evidenced by the advance deployments, evacuations from high-risk areas and distribution of relief to affected villages. The UN and its partners are ready to scale-up support, and we urge the authorities to facilitate continued access to the affected areas for both international and national staff as was done in the case of Cyclone Nargis,” said the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, who also commended humanitarian partners for quickly setting up sector-specific coordination structures, both at Yangon and field level.
“The most important immediate needs are in the emergency shelter, water and sanitation, food and health sectors, while early recovery including agriculture and livelihoods should also be addressed. We encourage donors to stand ready to support activities on the ground,” said Parajuli.

For more information, please contact:
The United Nations in Myanmar
Esben Q. Harboe Special Assistant to the UN RC/HC
Tel: +95 9 5074853,
Aye Win National Information Officer, UNIC
Tel: +95 9 5123952,

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