Children on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, on Wednesday reached for bananas being handed out by a local donor.
With winds of up to 120 miles per hour, Cyclone Nargis devastated entire villages, flattening thousands of buildings, destroying power lines, and uprooting trees that are now blocking roads. The cyclone took more than 32,000 lives and left more than one million homeless and without drinking water. And these numbers are expected to increase.
ADRA is onsite assessing critical needs and implementing an immediate response. Once the current urgent needs of shelter, clean drinking water, and basic food are met, the long-term effects of the storm on family livelihoods will also need to be addressed.
The people of Myanmar are in mourning and in desperate need. ADRA has committed itself to assist in relief and rebuilding efforts. LifeSMILES dentistry is committed to supporting this disaster relief effort.
Silver Spring, Maryland -- The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is continuing its response in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, partnering with the World Food Programme (WFP) and other non-governmental organizations to distribute food, clothing, medicine, and non-food items to survivors in the affected regions, including the devastated towns of Myaungmya and Labutta, and more remote villages such as Kya Kyawn, Paine Kone, Amakalay, and Amak Gyi located in the devastated Irrawaddy Delta in southern Myanmar.
On May 14, ADRA finalized a cooperative agreement with the WPF to assist survivors of Cyclone Nargis through food distribution in and around Labutta, a town that has become a focal point for thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking refuge in dozens of make-shift camps, and where ADRA has already provided at least 25 metric tons of rice to survivors.
Working with Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), ADRA received a shipment of shelter materials, which will be distributed shortly. Items include 20 large multi-purpose tents, 10 family tents, 2,742 plastic sheets of various sizes, and 1,500 family kitchen sets for five persons each.
In the town of Myaungmya, ADRA has partnered with World Vision and Metta, a local non-governmental organization, to distribute 10,000 blankets, clothing (longyi, slippers, and underwear), and medicine among the displaced in 28 IDP camps. ADRA is also providing hot food for 187 displaced persons who are staying at an IDP camp in the Myaungmya Union Adventist Seminary, and preparing to distribute 250 medical kits in the immediate region.
Additionally, ADRA has accessed remote villages in the delta to distribute rice and transport survivors to Labutta, for improved care. The rice is being provided to 14 camps in the area, where cooking equipment has also been provided to survivors to assist them in meal preparation.
In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, ADRA has been working to provide for the needs of survivors, committing at least $265,500 in emergency funding, and distributing much-needed food, medicine, and other essential items for survivors. ADRA has distributed 25 metric tons of rice and power biscuits for an estimated 50,000 IDPs in Labutta. ADRA has also distributed nearly 5,000 lbs. of rice as well as a supply of clean drinking water to affected villages in the Piensalu islands, south of Labutta.
In recent days, ADRA has shipped 20 medicine packs and 150 lbs. of medical supplies, one million water purification tablets, and water purification and filtration systems that will benefit approximately 48,000 people a day. ADRA has also distributed 10,000 sets of plates, spoons, cups, and other kitchen equipment for cooking rice to 10,000 IDPs in various camps in Labutta.
The shipping and distribution of ADRA emergency supplies and food in Myanmar has not been hampered, despite heavy rains in the last 48 hours and reports that relief aid has been diverted. All ADRA aid intended for survivors is reaching the target communities in the Irrawaddy Delta as expected.
In Yangon, ADRA staff are working with emergency response teams in the delta to expand the flow of aid into affected areas. Marcel Wagner, currently director in Myanmar, has been called to the Regional Coordinating office in Bangkok, Thailand, to evaluate the overall response.
ADRA’s emergency response is centered in the devastated Irrawaddy Delta region, which suffered the most damage as a result of cyclonic winds that reached more than 120 mph (193 km/h). Although officially at least 38,000 people have died and 27,000 remain missing, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates, as of May 13, that between 63,000 to 101,000 people have died, while some 220,000 remain missing, and between 1.6 to 2.5 million have been severely affected.
On Sunday, May 4, a state of emergency was declared across five regions, including Yangon, Irrawaddy, Pegu, Karen and Mon, in which 24 million people live.
The most urgently needed items include food, water purification supplies, plastic sheeting, cooking sets, mosquito nets, fuel, and emergency health kits.
Updates will be released as ADRA’s response efforts expand. ADRA is present in 125 countries, providing community development and emergency management without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race, or ethnicity.