Director General McKinley Will Attend Yangon Donor Conference


IOM Director General Brunson McKinley will attend a Cyclone
Nargis international donor conference co-chaired by ASEAN –
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - and the UN in Yangon
on Sunday.

IOM has been working in Myanmar since 2004 under an agreement
with the Myanmar Ministry of Health. “With more than 200 IOM
personnel in the country working on grassroots health, we are ready
to contribute to a larger effort of relief and
reconstruction,” said McKinley.

The conference follows an appeal by the Myanmar government for
$11.7 billion to fund reconstruction following the cyclone, which
struck the Irrawaddy delta and Yangon on May 2nd leaving up to
130,000 dead or missing and 2.4 million in need of humanitarian

Delegates from some 45 countries, regional bodies and
international agencies including the World Bank are expected to
attend the conference, which will include discussion of a proposed
Nargis Taskforce comprising ASEAN, the UN Country Team in Myanmar
and the government to coordinate the relief effort.

“The conference needs to identify common ground and build
confidence among all the parties concerned. IOM has good working
relationships with all the key players – the UN, ASEAN and
the Myanmar government. We also have ample surge capacity in the
ASEAN region, meaning IOMers who are ASEAN nationals, who can move
in quickly,” he added.

Officials attending the conference, which will be chaired by UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and ASEAN Secretary General Surin
Pitsuwan, believe that a successful negotiated outcome may
encourage international donors who have not yet committed funds to
Cyclone Nargis to step forward.

IOM is appealing for funding for emergency shelter and health
projects, as well as funds to coordinate the activities of a
temporary settlements working group within the IASC Emergency
Shelter Cluster in Yangon that will help people displaced by the

It also plans to provide psycho-social help and HIV and AIDS
advice to displaced cyclone victims, as well as carrying out a
range of other services based on its extensive experience drawn
from the tsunami and other Asian natural disasters.

IOM Myanmar, which is currently coordinating its Nargis response
operations out of Yangon and Bogale township in the Irrawaddy
delta, has deployed medical teams who have already treated over
1,000 patients and are assessing health needs in the
cyclone-affected area. It has also taken delivery of 14 MT of
essential medicines from the NGO AmeriCares and 10,000 treated
mosquito nets from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

For more information please contact Chris Lom at IOM’s
regional office in Bangkok.

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