Sunday, July 6, 2008

Two months after Cyclone Nargis, condition of survivors still 'critical'

Two months after the killer Cyclone Nargis lashed Burma, thousands of survivors said they still lack basic assistance including food, farming equipments and shelter.

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Aid groups face soaring rent prices

House rents in Burma's cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta has hit an all time high as a result of humanitarian groups including United Nations aid agencies taking based in the area to...

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School Children and Teachers Still Finding Hard to Concentrate

Two months after Cyclone Nargis struck, the teachers are seeing first-hand the problems children face in returning to their studies. Students show signs of difficulty concentrating on their lessons.

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Delta Farmers’ Woes Continue

A lack of equipment and poor seed quality are plaguing efforts by farmers in the Irrawaddy delta to plant in time for this year’s growing season.

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The UN Must Set the Agenda

After six weeks of unimpressive results in the Irrawaddy delta, it’s time for the United Nations to show the Burmese junta who’s boss.

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Burmese Refugees Moved to Better Camps in Bangladesh

Dhaka: Burmese Muslim refugees, known as Rohingya, who have been staying in a makeshift camp outside of Teknaf in Bangladesh, began moving to a new refugee camp on Wednesday, in hopes of a better living standard, reported one resident from the camp.

He said, "The program to move Burmese refugees from the makeshift camp to the new camp started on Wednesday and the process is still going on. On the first day, 275 refugee families had to move, and over 150 families moved to the new camp yesterday."

There are 1,900 families and about 7,500 individual refugees who have been living at the makeshift camp for years without legal status after seeking refuge on Bangladesh soil.

According to refugee sources, the living standard of the refugees at the makeshift camp has been very poor, and food and clean drinking water was scarce. The camp is situated along the highway close to the Naff River, where the refugees lived packed into shelters constructed from wood and small pieces of plastic.

The refugee said, "I think the new camp is better than the previous makeshift camps, and there are a few facilities for refugees, including homes, food, and drinking water. We also received a ration book issued by the UNHCR for food, including rice, sugar, and cooking oil, for when we arrive at the new refugee camp."

In the makeshift camp many refugees were recently suffering with diarrhea, and at least three individuals died from the treatable disease.

At present there are around 26,000 refugees at two UNHCR refugee camps, Kutapalong and Nayapara. There were an estimated 7,500 refugees unrecognized by the UNHCR that were living in the makeshift camp.

The camp residents, however, will be given recognition as refugees by the UNHCR as they arrive at the new refugee camp located in Nila Township between Cox's Bazar and Teknaf Highway.

--Source: Narinjara News

Relief Rice Piles Up in Min Bya

Min Bya: People from Min Bya Township donated a large amount of rice as relief aid to Cyclone Nargis victims soon after the storm had struck lower Burma, but the authorities in Min Bya have yet to send the rice to the stricken Irrawaddy Division, reports a teacher from Min Bya.

The teacher said, "I do not know why the authority piled up the rice in the store and is not sending it to Irrawaddy, but the rice will be ruined in the future if it is not sent to Nargis victims."

The rice was donated to Nargis victims by people throughout Min Bya Township and there are currently over 200 sacks of rice being kept in storage.

"I am really surprised about the authorities' manners and why they have not sent our donated rice to the victims from Irrawaddy on time, and we do not know the reason behind the pile-up of rice in the store," the teacher said.

Zaw Myin Thein, Chairman of Min Bya Township, told residents that he wants to send the rice to Irrawaddy Division but there are no funds for transporting the aid.

It has also been reported that the authorities are likely to send cash to the victims in Irrawaddy after selling the donated rice to traders in the markets of Min Bya. #

--Source: Narinjara News