THE IMPACT OF CYCLONE NARGIS ON BURMA/MYANMAR:
INFORMATION, COMMENTARY, VACANCIES, DONATIONS

 

 

N. B. This page is only updated to 3 June 2008. Please go here for the updated version

 

Please suggest other links to darnott@iprolink.ch


If the site you go to does not have a
Myanmar (Burma) section on its home page, search for Myanmar or Myanmar OR Burma on the site’s search engine




INFORMATION AND COMMENTARY

 

QUICK CHECK

For recent updates,  go to ReliefWeb   OCHA Situation Reports   Democratic Voice of Burma   The Irrawaddy    Google English  and to any news sources you trust not covered by Google

 

INTER-GOVERNMENTAL SOURCES            

ReliefWeb (regular updates, including maps)  IRIN: Humanitarian News and Analysis (UNOCHA)   OCHA Online   OCHA Situation Reports  (if the latest report is not here, search ReliefWeb) Humanitarian Information Centre for Myanmar  (fast-loading, substantial data)  UN Information Centre, Rangoon   Text of UN Flash  Appeal  (54-page description of the situation. 9 May) World Food Programme (WFP)  UNICEF   WHO   UNHCR   FAO   FAO (Asian  Regional Office)   FAO Myanmar Emergency page (maps etc)  International Organisation for Migration (IOM)  (results of a search for Myanmar Cyclone. See also the IOM home page)

INTER-AGENCY CLUSTERS
The response to Cyclone Nargis by the UN agencies and their partners is based on the cluster approach, whereby different organisations cooperate on specific areas of work. At this point in time (24 May 2008) there appear to be two parallel sets of sites representing the clusters – those housed at OCHA’s Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC) and those located at the Humanitarian Reform website (HR). There are some differences between the two, both in content and speed of access -- opening an HR site took 95 seconds on average, but only 8 seconds for an HIC site. The list below places them together by cluster, naming them HIC or HR, with some notes.  For a concise overview, see the cluster updates and summaries in the Sector Status of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance  

The home pages of the two sets of sites: HIC Myanmar  (HIC, fast-loading, substantial data);   Myanmar Inter-cluster page  (HR, slow-loading, substantial data) ….  Agriculture Cluster Site (HIC;  fast loading; some data, lead agency FAO); Agriculture Cluster in Myanmar (HR, slow-loading, inactive, lead agency, FAO) ; Education Cluster Information  (HIC, fast-loading, inactive, lead agency, UNICEF)   Education cluster in Myanmar (HR, slow-loading, inactive, lead agency, UNICEF);   Early Recovery Cluster Information (HIC, fast-loading, some data, lead agency, UNDP) Early Recovery Cluster in Myanmar  (HR, slow-loading, some data, lead agency, UNDP);  Emergency Shelter Cluster Information (HIC, fast-loading; substantial data, lead agencies: IFRC, UNHCR) Emergency Shelter cluster in Myanmar (HR, slow-loading, some data, lead agencies UNHCR, IFRC); Telecommunications cluster information (HIC; fast-loading; little data, lead agencies, OCHA/UNICEF/WFP) Telecommunications cluster in Myanmar  (HR, slow-loading, inactive, lead agencies, OCHA/UNICEF/WFP ); Health Cluster Information (HIC, fast-loading, substantial data, lead agency, WHO)   Health cluster in Myanmar (HR, slow-loading, substantial data, lead agency, WHO); Logistics Cluster Information (HIC, HR,  fast-loading, substantial data, lead agency, WFP); Nutrition Cluster Information (HIC, fast-loading, some data, lead agency, UNICEF ) Nutrition Cluster in Myanmar (HR slow-loading, some data, lead agency, UNICEF); Protection Cluster Information (HIC, fast-loading, substantial data, lead agency, UNICEF)  Protection of Women & Children Cluster in Myanmar  (HR, slow loading, inactive, lead agency, UNICEF); Water and Sanitation Cluster Information (HIC, fast-loading, substantial data, lead agency: UNICEF); Water/Sanitation cluster in Myanmar  (HR, slow-loading, inactive, lead agency, UNICEF) Food Assistance Cluster information (HIC, fast-loading, some data, lead agency: WFP)      Food Assistance Cluster in Myanmar (HR, slow-loading, inactive, lead agency, WFP)

 

N. B. There are now (29 May) important documents (reports, guides, minutes of meetings etc.) beginning to appear on the cluster websites (see links above) as well as on the sites of individual agencies and governments.


HUMAN RIGHTS DIMENSIONS

The protection of human rights is a cross-cutting issue of concern to all agencies, especially those working within the Protection Cluster. The fact that the situation of human rights in Burma/Myanmar has been of great concern to the international community for two decades highlights the need to combine human rights and humanitarian approaches to the disaster. In particular, given the large number of people displaced by the cyclone, the work of the UN Special Representative on Internal Displacement, Walter Kaelin, and others  working on human rights protection in the context of natural disasters is especially relevant  – see, for instance, the Brookings-Bern Project’s  Human Rights and Natural Disasters: Operational Guidelines and Field Manual on Human Rights Protection in Situations of Natural Disaster  (March 2008) and other publications by the Brookings Institution and the Special Representative. Among organisations which discuss the human rights dimensions of the disaster are Asian Human Rights Commission   Human Rights Watch   Amnesty International    FIDH  One issue under discussion is the degree to which the “Government’s” blocking of humanitarian assistance, including food, should be considerer a crime against humanity. For background material, see also the Human Rights, UN System and ILO sections of the Online Burma Library.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS

Asian Human Rights Commission  (Important analyses and statements)  Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance  (Daily, comprehensive updates. Highly recommended)  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)  International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (results of a search for Myanmar)  Human Rights Watch    Amnesty International

GOVERNMENTS

USAID  DFID (UK)  ECHO (French) ECHO (English)

MAPS

ReliefWeb Map Centre  (results of an Advanced Search for “Myanmar”) UNOSAT   Burma Campaign UK (has some good map and aerial photo links) Burma cyclone: Mapping the aftermath (BBC) 

FAO Myanmar Emergency page (maps etc)

BUDDHIST SOURCES

MERCY (Myanmar Emergency Relief for Cyclone Disaster) (information about the relief activities of Burmese Buddhist monks and lay people)

 

BURMA GROUPS/MEDIA

Democratic Voice of Burma   The Irrawaddy    Burma Partnership    Mizzima   ABITSU   Rebound 88   Yangon Globe   Burma Campaign UK   ALTSEAN-Burma  Burma Cyclone Update (NCGUB)


Death and Destruction in the Delta - Images from the Aftermath of Cyclone Nargis (
This video from Delta Tears  contains high-quality images taken between 4 and 5 May 2008 in the
Irrawaddy Delta. Viewers may find some of the following images disturbing. Discretion is advised.  88MB,  4.5 minutes - long buffer time. To download, right-click on the URL and Save As).

The video needs DivX 6 codecs (most new players come with these) but all software can be updated by downloading the free standard or full pack from:

http://www.free-codecs.com/K_lite_codec_pack_download.htm

STATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (SPDC)

The New Light of Myanmar  (Read how the SPDC is presenting its role in the situation. N.B. files up to 10MB!)  MRTV-3   (Myanmar TV)  Myanmar Mission, Geneva (Some statements and highlights on the home page)

PRIVATE SECTOR MEDIA IN BURMA OPERATING UNDER CENSORSHIP RESTRICTIONS

The Myanmar Times (current issue)   The Myanmar Times (archive)


ASIAN MEDIA  

Bangkok Post   The Times of India (Search for Myanmar OR Burma)   Asia Times Online  (Search for Myanmar cyclone)  Xinhua   Japanese Press (Google search results for “Myanmar cyclone”)  Al Jazeera (results of a search for “Myanmar”)

 

WESTERN  MEDIA

The Guardian (UK)   Times Online   The Telegraph    BBC   BBC  Burmese service    CNN   New York Times   Christian Science Monitor   International Herald Tribune   
World News   Le Monde  Le Point  Liberation  L’Express   Rue 89    20 minutes (dans ces sites recherchér: “Cyclone birmanie ”)  Der Spiegel   ZDF   Stern   Tagesschau 

WIRE SERVICES                

Associated Press  Reuters   Reuters AlertNet
 

SEARCH ENGINES 

(The Google results don’t quite work for Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Thai – would someone who can search in these languages please send me the URLs of the results)           

Google Arabic (“Cyclone  Burma OR Nargis OR Myanmar”)   Google Chinese (“Cyclone Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”)  Google Deutsch (“Zyklon  Burma OR Nargis OR Myanmar”) 

Google English (Search results for “Cyclone Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”) Google español  (“Ciclone Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”)  Google francais (pages en francais pour
“Cyclone  birmanie OR Nargis OR Myanmar”)  Google Italiano (“Ciclone Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”)  Google Japanese  (“Cyclone Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”)

Google Russian (“Cyclone Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”)  Google Thai  (“Cyclone  Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”) 
Yahoo English   (Search results for “Cyclone  Myanmar OR Burma OR Nargis”) Multiple languages also available on Yahoo.

 

OTHER ONLINE SOURCES

Wikipedia – Cyclone Nargis page

 

 

VACANCIES

For those wishing to do humanitarian work in Burma/Myanmar

ReliefWeb Vacancies page   Vacancies in Myanmar - UNjobs (derived from the ReliefWeb list, but with a little more information)


DONATIONS

While restrictions on the delivery of aid and access for aid workers continue, there are organizations which already have a presence in the hardest-hit parts of the country.  Below are some of those working in the affected areas NOW, which could use your support. Most have websites and methods to donate within your country.


BURMESE BUDDHIST GROUPS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS
Sitagu Buddhist Vihara (Sagaing Division)  is doing relief work in Bogalay.   MERCY (Myanmar Emergency Relief for Cyclone Disaster)   Foundation for the People of Burma  Burma Relief Center, Japan (BRCJ)   Buddhist Relief Mission  AVAAZ 

 

OTHER BURMESE HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS

Metta Development Foundation and  Nargis Action Group Myanmar (Myanmar Egress) are local groups working in the affected areas


Mae Tao Clinic – Emergency Assistance Team “…
The Emergency Assistance Team (EAT-BURMA) is working at the grassroots level to provide aid and assistance to the people affected by Cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy and Rangoon division areas. EAT is working with networks of local organisations and concerned individuals in Burma to get food, water, cooking equipment, shelter, clothing, health services and rehabilitation to those most in need. This will be provided by working directly with the affected communities. For the safety of our teams and the people inside, we cannot give out information regarding the exact location of our teams, nor their identities. But we are working with a team of about 40 people on the ground who are each working with their own networks of local organisations and people…”

Burma Relief Network   Burma Myanmar Relief Organization  Friends of Burma   Burma Relief


INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AND SOLIDARITY GROUPS

Burma Campaign UK  Rule of Lords, Cyclone Nargis  and Asian Human Rights Commission  have lists of places to send donations. Suggestions from a relief expert has more links and some helpful guidelines.

In the UK the Disasters Emergency Committee (Burma) , made up of 13 member agencies, some of which have a presence in Burma/Myanmar, has launched a joint Cyclone Nargis appeal 

AlertNet has a list of 50 or so agencies on the ground

ActionAid  has started an emergency program with their partner KDN, a church-based network working in 276 villages in the affected areas, and five other teams are already working on how to further scale up the response to the disaster. (Donate directly or via Disasters Emergency Committee (Burma) )

Action Against Hunger/Action Contre la Faim (ACF) is in the Yangon area to distribute water purifying tablets and water, rehabilitate water points, distribute essential non-food items and emergency shelters, promote basic hygiene, perform environmental clearing and clean up, and provide food, cash and/or vouches depending on local market accessibility. (The website shows no obvious way to make an earmarked donation to a Myanmar Cyclone fund)

Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA)  is continuing food assistance in partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) coordinating the delivery of up to 250 metric tons of rice to the Labutta area, which will provide for 20,000 people for 30 days.

Aide Medicale Internationale Rapidement mobilisée après le passage du cyclone Nargis sur le territoire de la Birmanie/Myanmar, Aide Médicale Internationale assure ses premières interventions auprès des populations sinistrées des townships de Dala, Twantay et Seikgyi. Lundi 5 et mardi 6 mai, les équipes d’Aide Médicale Internationale se sont rendues dans ces zones les plus touchées pour constater l’ampleur des destructions et évaluer précisément les besoins des populations qui tentent de survivre. Aujourd’hui 8 mai, Aide Médicale Internationale met en oeuvre un plan d’action d’urgence destiné à répondre aux besoins essentiels des victimes du cyclone des zones de Dala, Twantay et Seikgyi.” (The website offers no obvious way to make an earmarked donation to a Myanmar Cyclone fund)

Association François-Xavier Bagnoud states that 08 May 2008 - Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar this week, has left some 22,000 people dead and tens of thousands without food, water, and shelter. To date, FXB has learned that some of its program participants did not survive the disaster, and hundreds have been left with destroyed homes.  FXB Myanmar will continue to investigate the effects of the cyclone on its program participants and communities throughout the country over the next few days.  For 15 years, FXB has brought health support, life skills, and vocational training to families and young people affected by HIV and AIDS in Myanmar.  At this time, FXB is asking for donations to supply food, rebuild homes, and restore water access, so that the parents and children in our programs, many of whom are HIV positive, stay safe and healthy”

CARE  (with Care International ?)  emergency assessment teams have returned to Yangon from the Irrawaddy Delta on 9 May reporting massive destruction on a level far worse than seen in Yangon, including whole towns and villages completely wiped out. CARE has assessed Pathien, where 250,000 survivors were expected to need urgent relief. CARE is purchasing supplies in Yangon to ensure the distribution of food and water to the Irrawaddy Delta happens immediately. CARE packaged 13,779 lb (6,250 kg) of rice and first aid kits for distribution in Thaketa township. Survival kits for 50,000 people are being assembled in Thailand and expected to be delivered within days. CARE delivered relief targeting 50,000 families in South Dagon, Thaketa and Patone. CARE is distributing: Non food items, including distribution of plastic sheeting and family kits (basic household items for cooking), Food, Water, and ensuring access to clean water through the supply of water purification tablets and safe water storage containers for families. . (Donate directly or (for UK)  via Disasters Emergency Committee (Burma) )

Caritas has assembled an initial team drawing on staff from across the memberships with a strong representation from the local region. Caritas is coordinating the relief efforts of its162 national members and working in support of the Catholic Church in Myanmar. (CI, May 8)

Christian Aid is distributing water purification tablets, blankets and medicines to 100,000 people. Supplies are being sourced from within Myanmar, but this will become more difficult. Christian Aid partners urgently need more supplies of water purification tablets, medicines including salt solutions, mosquito nets, blankets, clothing and materials to rebuild homes. They report that people are asking for rice seeds, as their supplies have been damaged and unless they plant in the next month will not have any rice supplies until May 2009. . (Donate directly or via Disasters Emergency Committee (Burma) )

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sent its first flight to Myanmar of relief goods “for those in labor camps and prisons” with 35 metric tons (39 US tons) of relief goods, including pumps, generators, water tanks and other water treatment equipment, as well as basic health care for about 10,000 people and surgery material. The ICRC visits political prisoners and prisoners of war worldwide, but stopped visitng Myanmar’s estimated 1,100 political prisoners in December 2005 after the government insisted that government-affiliated staff accompany them. The ICRC planned to distribute aid with the Myanmar Red Cross and will explore how to help reunite families separated by the storm and help identify the dead. The ICRC has six foreign and 90 local staff in Myanmar and hopes to bring more in. ICRC plans to deliver aid to various places of detention affected by the cyclone. The ICRC has already donated medical supplies to the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and it has provided a generator for a Ministry of Defence hospital. The ICRC has made four vehicles with drivers available to the MRCS to enable it to assess needs in the worst-hit areas. (The ICRC website has no obvious way to make an earmarked donation to a Myanmcr Cyclone fund, though it has a link to the IFRC site, which does)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) had three planes arrive with 14 metric tons of shelter material. All goods were cleared at customs and then distributed by Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS). All stocks in Red Cross warehouses have been distributed, including hygiene items, food, water purification tablets and mosquito nets. A further seven flights are expected to arrive May 10-12, containing 20 metric tons of shelter materials, jerry cans and 2,000 mosquito nets. It is estimated the overall humanitarian effort thus far has supported 220,000 people, of whom 80,000 have been helped by the Red Cross with shelter kits, shovels, saws, tarpaulins and jerry cans. Some 17,000 local Myanmar Red Cross volunteers are helping to distribute supplies.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) emergency team members arrived in Myanmar and four additional teams are on standby for deployment to the region as the IRC prepares for a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases in cyclone-hit villages. In addition to aid workers on the ground, the IRC also has medical, water, sanitation, operations and logistics experts already in the region or ready to be dispatched to Myanmar.

Malteser International will send a medical team to the coastal town of Labutta on Sunday (May 11) to start the operation of a health center in one of the houses there that endured the storm, as “the hospital of Labutta has been almost completely destroyed.” Staff on May 9 distributed water purification tablets to 8,000 households in Dawbon, Tantabin and Thongwa districts around Yangon, enabling families to have safe drinking water for one week. Also, 850 plastic sheets for shelter and 750 “family kits” with cookware, hygiene articles and water cans are being distributed. Malteser ordered further water disinfection tablets to distribute them to the population in the district of Dawbon and in the poor rural settlement of Tantabin. A medical team is also providing first aid for the survivors in the Yangon Division. Malteser is planning the distribution of plastic covers for the construction of temporary shelters, cookware, mosquito nets and the construction of further water tanks that catch between 1,000 and 2,000 liters (264 and 528 gallons) and can provide safe drinking water for hundreds of people.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders currently has 35 staff in the Irrawaddy Delta. MSF teams in Twantey and Daala, townships south of Yangon, observed 80 percent housing destruction in some areas and up to 3.3 feet (1 meter) of flood waters. MSF teams distributed food rations to 2,000 people in Twantey. MSF also did medical consultations in areas homeless are sheltering, such as pagodas and schools, and rehabilitated latrines, wells and water pumps. Other MSP teams are assessing locations further south in the delta by boat, including hard-hit Bogalay (Bogaley). In every affected location, MSF distributes food and provides medical care.

Merlin  has permission to use a river cruiser to deliver medical aid to tens of thousands in the Irrawaddy Delta. Merlin teams are on the ground now in Laputta townships, treating trauma patients and doing rapid health needs assessment. (Donate directly or via Disasters Emergency Committee (Burma)

Save the Children (SC-UK) has provided assistance in affected urban townships in Yangon covering 63,000 people across the four townships of Shwe Pyi Tar, Thin Gan Gyun, Insein, and North Okkalapa. Trucks containing 1,000 bags of rice (30 tons), 20 rolls of tarpaulin, surgar and salt reached Pathein, SC’s operations base for response in the western Irrawaddy Delta region). SC is helping repair a Yangon center for HIV positive girls and young women to provide them with basic necessities. SC provided food, plastic tarpaulins, water purification tablets and rehydration salts to 50,000 people and distributed 2 metric tons of food, plastic sheeting, water purification tablets, kitchen equipment, re-hydration salts and other non food items to over 30,000 children and families.

World Vision has helped almost 78,000 people in the Yangon area, providing rice and water worth US$175,000 and other relief items and has delivered 35 metric tons of rice, 20,000 liters of drinking water and diesel fuel to allow generators to pump water. Clothing, blankets and tarpaulins have also been distributed to people living in and around Yangon. Initial supplies handed out will include zinc sheets, tents, tarpaulins and medicines.


Partially updated
2 June  2008