Unless more access to Myanmar is granted to allow aid to flow more quickly to victims of this month’s deadly cyclone, a second catastrophe could result, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned today.
Despite some progress, efforts to help the 1.5 million people affected by Cyclone Nargis must be enhanced, a spokesperson for OCHA told reporters in Geneva.
Elizabeth Byrs said that, some 12 days after the cyclone struck, the UN and its partners have reached about 270,000 at-risk people, less than a third of those affected. Heavy rains have been forecast, further impeding aid efforts. Ms. Byrs called for an air and sea corridor to channel aid in large quantities as quickly as possible.
The official death toll reported by Myanmar’s Government has reached almost 32,000, with over 34,000 others missing.