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70pc of Giri victims still lack the basics


New Delhi (Mizzima) – Basic food and shelter is lacking for 70 per cent of residents in areas of Arakan State worst hit by Cyclone Giri last month, aid organisations working in the region say.

Although NGOs, such as the United Nations World Food Programme and other relief organisations, have provided victims with food and relief, that aid can support just 30 per cent of affected residents, Aye Tha Aung, chairman of the Arakan League for Democracy, which is providing aid to the hard-hit township of Myebon.

Cyclone-Giri-2“Many cyclone-affected areas have not received help. And the humanitarian relief is not enough in some affected areas. Many people are now facing famine and some do not have accommodation,” he told Mizzima.

Giri hit the Arakanese coast on October 22, flattening villages in the worst-hit townships of Myebon, Pauktaw, Kyaukphyu and Manaung with winds gusting up to 160 miles (257 kilometres per hour). Major livelihoods were also severely curtailed. Fisherman lost reportedly thousands of trawlers and shrimp farmers’ ponds were swamped in storm surges that in some areas reached as high as 3.7 metres (12 feet).

As a result of the cyclone, at least 100,000 people were displaced and up to 260,000 people including 100,000 children affected. The region’s relief needs have reached US$2 million, the UN office in Rangoon estimated in the second week of this month.

UN children’s aid organisation Unicef has promised to build 150 schools in the region.

Aye Win, a spokesman at the UN office in Rangoon told Mizzima: “Despite the relief supplies, it’ll take too much time for economic and social change.”

Aye Tha Aung said: “The most important thing [pressing need] is to provide permanent accommodation for the victims and to replace the thousands of fishing boats destroyed by the cyclone.”

If another storm hit the state there were no safe refuges for the residents, Aye Tha Aung said.



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 November 2010 17:36 )  

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