Relief Information for Myanmar

The death toll from the Myanmar cyclone continues to climb. Official numbers are at 78,000, but many on the ground believe the number to be much higher and could grow significantly in the next few weeks if adequate water and supplies do not reach those in need. Clean water is a rare commodity in the delta region where the Cyclone caused the most long-lasting damage, and efforts to provide water and other essentials to those in need are being thwarted at every turn. The Burmese government is doing all it can to prevent the international community from being able to do the work it needs to do, but some restrictions are being lifted.

 

The following is a list of 6 organizations that are doing the best they can to help the people of Burma. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. GRI, Partners Relief and Development and The Free Burma Rangers are smaller organizations that don’t necessarily have the clout or funding power of Samaritan’s Purse, but they have been on the ground in Burma and will continue to be on the ground long after the public has grown tired of hearing about the tragedy. GFA also has an ongoing presence in Burma with a Bible school in the capital city.

 

Please prayerfully consider how you can support any of these groups or the people they seek to reach:

 

 

· Samaritan’s Purse

             http://www.samaritanspurse.org/MP_Article.asp?ArticleID=158  – Samaritan’s Purse is primarily a relief organization, and as such they seem to be getting around some of the barriers that other groups are facing. They have a plane in Burma with 20 tons of supplies. It is the first of three scheduled to arrive.

 

From the website:

 

” As heavy rains resumed in the Irrawaddy River delta, a plane carrying 20 tons of Samaritan’s Purse emergency relief supplies landed in Myanmar during the early morning hours on Thursday. The shipment is the first of at least three planned deliveries of critically needed aid to survivors of the cyclone that ravaged the country nearly two weeks ago.

Prayers continue to be answered as Samaritan’s Purse was among the first humanitarian agencies to receive clearance to land in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar (also known as Burma).

A delegation of military personnel and church leaders welcomed Samaritan’s Purse when the Antonov AN-12 cargo plane arrived in Yangon around 4 a.m. local time. We are working with area churches to coordinate distribution of the relief supplies to devastated communities.

The first shipment of emergency aid included 974 cartons of water purification kits, 2,000 plastic buckets for use with the kits, 135 rolls of plastic for temporary shelters, 10,000 mosquito nets, 3,000 blankets, and 6,000 pieces of clothing for men, women, and children.”

 

 

· Gospel for Asia:

 http://www.gfa.org/cyclone  – GFA has an established presence in Burma. They have a Bible college in Yangon (Rangoon, the capital city), from which it has sent out five teams to survey the damage and assess needs.

 

From the website:

 

One of the teams is being led by the school’s dean of students. The GFA country leader is directing the relief efforts at the college, which includes providing desperately needed food and water to survivors staying on and near the campus.

‘For us, the issue is not as much visas as it is getting supplies into the affected areas,’ K.P. explained. ‘Our people are already on the ground. Our national leader is organizing the relief efforts. And he is trying to arrange for our materials to get in. But they need much more—and they need much prayer.

‘We are working to get some of our workers into Burma from India,’ he noted, ‘but right now we are relying on our Burmese workers and church members who are helping every way they can to alleviate the suffering.

‘Most importantly, they are bringing the hope of Jesus Christ into the situation. One of the things we learned in the wake of the Asian tsunami was that even when we bring physical aid, the emotional and spiritual needs are even greater.’

‘I still remember when one of our missionaries read Scripture to a woman who was about to walk into the ocean and drown herself because she had lost everything in the tsunami,’ he recounted. ‘She had received food and clothing and shelter—but she had lost her entire family and didn’t want to live anymore. It was only the Good News of the Gospel that saved her.

‘Even as we minister in the wake of this cyclone, we must never forget what man’s deepest needs are.’”

 

· World Vision

http://www.worldvision.org/news.nsf/news/myanmar-cyclone-20080505?open&lid=20225&lpos=fea_txt_MyanmarERDMVid_LearnMore  – World Vision’s main focus is to help children. In their relief efforts in Myanmar they are paying special attention to the needs of children.

 

From the website:

May 15 update:

 

Our teams are rolling out 37 Child-Friendly Spaces in and around Yangon to help children cope with devastating consequences of the disaster; many children have been left orphaned, injured, or vulnerable to disease. World Vision’s priority is to ensure all children are safe and to support their recovery. At these places, children will be able to play games, gain informal education, and talk about their experiences in a caring and supportive environment facilitated by trained World Vision volunteers.

May 14: World Vision has been supplying clean water to survivors in the Irrawaddy area. Our teams also have started chlorinating wells, providing water tanks, and disinfecting camp sites with bleaching powder. Meanwhile, in Yangon, more than 78,000 people have received clean water, rice, and other emergency aid, such as clothing, blankets, and tarpaulins. Diesel fuel is being distributed to operate water pumps.

 

 

· Global Refuge International

http://www.globalrefuge.org/pages/index_content.html – GRI has had ongoing ministry in Burma preceding the cyclone.

 

From the website:

 

“As of May 16:

 

-Assessment team currently in Burma organizing relief supplies and distribution.

 

-An aid airlift containing one million dollars of antibiotics, other medications, mosquito nets, tarps, water purification equipment, and plastic sheeting sits in Europe, awaiting Burmese approval to land and distribute.

 

-GRI is raising funds to provide direct relief to victims in delta region through existing in-country channels.”

 

  

· Free Burma Rangers:

 http://www.freeburmarangers.org/Reports/2008/20080513.html – The Free Burma Rangers are on the ground in Burma providing photos and information on the needs in Burma. They have been active in Burma for years, providing information on how the government is oppressing its people. See: http://www.freeburmarangers.org/Reports/2008/20080509b.html 

 

From the website:

 

Dear Friends,

Thanks for all of your support for IDPs under attack and the cyclone victims. With your assistance we are able to continue to support relief teams helping people displaced by ongoing attacks of the Burma Army.

In the cyclone-affected area, we are now working with Partners Relief and Development and assisting in three major activities:

1) The support of a local relief network operating in the affected Irrawaddy Delta area, including Rangoon. This network is now providing emergency food, water, medicine and shelter to as many victims as they can.

2) The support and expansion of a communication and information network in order to disseminate information, images and analysis of the situation.

3) Prayer for those in need and encouragement of the local relief network.

Thank you and God bless you,

Free Burma Rangers “

 

 

· Partners Relief and Development

             http://www.partnersworld.org/cyclone.html – One of Partners specific goals is to help the 1.5 million people who have been displaced by the Burmese army, so they too have an ongoing presence in Burma.

 

From the website:

 

“Already a truck loaded with supplies including 7 tons of rice and grain along with 100 rolls of plastic to serve as temporary shelter have made the overland trip to Rangoon for distribution. Further supplies are being purchased from within Burma for direct distribution to the people who need it, while we are also arranging the delivery of water purification systems, medical aid, and people to be on the ground as ministers of love and healing.”

 

 

LINKS/STORIES

AP Update on Death Toll as of May 16-http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90347274

NPR interview with Doctors Without Borders-http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90394712 

UN update May 14 – http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2008/080514_Holmes.doc.htm

One comment

  1. Ford, thank you sooooo much for taking the pain-staking time to disseminate all this info for us and for bringing home the importance of praying for and assisting our brothers and sisters in Christ who are willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus to such parts of the world. May we not let the next media frenzy (sorry you A.I. lovers 😉 allow this situation to be pushed from the front of our minds and prayers.

    God Bless.

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