IOM Emergency Teams Establish Thailand, Myanmar Hubs, Receive Funding
IOM emergency coordinators will today start work in Yangon and
Bangkok as energy giant Chevron Corporation pledged USD 400,000 in
support of IOM’s relief efforts to help victims of Cyclone
The cyclone, which struck Myanmar on May 2nd, devastated five of
the country’s 17 states and divisions, with the worst damage
concentrated in the Irrawaddy delta. Estimates of the dead and
missing range between 60,000 – 100,000, with a further 1.5
million severely affected or displaced by the storm.
"Chevron's contribution represents our commitment to the people
of Myanmar," said Jim Blackwell, president, Chevron Asia Pacific
Exploration & Production. "This direct aid is intended to help
relieve the suffering of those in the hardest hit areas."
IOM is appealing for USD 8 million through the UN Flash Appeal
launched last Friday. The appeal includes USD 5 million for the
delivery and provision of emergency shelter including plastic sheet
and tents, and USD 3 million for direct medical aid and support to
local health authorities.
It has also asked the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund
(CERF) for USD 1.45 million. This includes USD 1.2 million for the
delivery of emergency shelter and USD 250,000 for ten emergency
primary health care clinics in the worst-affected areas.
An IOM Myanmar medical assessment team of six, including two
doctors and a nurse, is scheduled to leave Yangon for the delta
region today. Based on their feedback, a further four teams led by
eight doctors will likely be deployed in the next week.
IOM Myanmar medical staff transferred to Yangon from pre-cyclone
malaria, TB and HIV / AIDS projects in Mon State are also exploring
the need for psycho-social help for victims with partners in the
WHO-led Inter-Agency Standing Committee emergency health
IOM Yangon is also developing a displacement assessment form for
NGOs and partners to assess the needs of thousands of people
displaced by the cyclone. This will support government efforts to
provide them with temporary shelter and essential services.
Meanwhile Bangkok-based IOM logisticians and procurement
specialists are working to increase the flow of relief goods into
Myanmar. While international relief efforts are currently focused
on flights in and out of Yangon, IOM is hoping that Myanmar and
Thailand will soon agree to open a land corridor from the Thai
border town of Mae Sot to Mawlamyine in Myanmar’s Mon
“We have over a hundred staff working on non-emergency
programmes in each location, as well as warehousing capacity. If
the decision was made to open the road to cross-border truck
convoys, we are confident that it could make a huge difference to
the amount of aid getting in,” says IOM logistician Al
Meneses, who organized some 350 IOM truck convoys carrying 80,000
MT of relief items into Aceh following the December 2004
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