IOM Races to Shelter Cyclone Nargis Survivors Before Monsoon Rains

Posted: 
04/02/09

IOM is racing to provide shelter for some 13,000 families made
homeless by Cyclone Nargis – the storm that devastated the
Irrawaddy delta in May 2008 – ahead of monsoon rains expected
to start next month.

The project, funded with a EUR 2 million donation from the
European Commission‘s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO),
will target the most vulnerable rural families, including displaced
people, low-income households and families caring for ill, disabled
or elderly family members.

Cyclone Nargis and its accompanying storm surge flattened towns
and villages in the delta, affecting some 2.4 million people and
damaging some 790,000 houses, 57 per cent of which were totally
destroyed. Over 140,000 people died.

"While many people in the delta have managed to rebuild their
homes and livelihoods over the past 11 months, others are too poor
to rebuild anything able to withstand the monsoon and many are
still living in over-crowded shacks cobbled together from salvaged
materials," says IOM Myanmar Emergency Coordinator Federico
Soda.

The project will provide new homes for 720 of the poorest and
most vulnerable families. It will also distribute shelter
materials, including bamboo and palm roofing, flooring and walling
to over 12,000 other severely affected households.

The ECHO-funded initiative follows other IOM shelter activities
including a USD 3 million Japanese-funded project launched in
December 2008 and other emergency shelter assistance funded by the
United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF.)

IOM's post-Nargis emergency response programme, which is
concentrated in the delta townships of Bogale, Pyapon and
Mawlamyinegyun, has also included the delivery of medical aid to
over 100,000 patients in 858 villages, community health education
and the distribution of relief items, including mosquito nets,
waterproof clothing, blankets, kitchenware, jerry cans and soap to
cyclone survivors.

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department supports
relief activities for vulnerable people in crisis zones around the
world.

For more information please contact:

Lalitha Foster

IOM Yangon

Tel.+ 95 1 25 25 60

E-mail: "mailto:lfoster@iom.int">lfoster@iom.int

© IOM/Piers Benatar 2008 - MMM0268 (File photo)