Relief efforts by aid agencies have reached around one million people in Myanmar, just over 40 percent of those affected by the cyclone, according to the United Nations (not counting aid distributed by the Government).
Some 153 international flights had arrived in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and between 10 and 15 flights are coming in every day, with air-bridge flights from the logistics hub at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport to Yangon now fully operational.
Speaking to reporters today in Geneva, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesperson Elizabeth Byrs said they also hoped that the UN World Food Program would be able to start operating 10 helicopters in Myanmar as soon as possible, after the Government gave the go-ahead to their deployment.
So far, WFP and its partners have delivered over 3,000 tons of food aid reaching some 460,000 people. Meanwhile, the UN World Health Organization said that the highest priority now for affected populations is access to water, sanitation and basic healthcare. The agency has mobilized a specialized team to focus on malaria prevention and control.
WHO and other health agencies have called for greater financial support to meet victims’ health needs. As of yesterday, WHO said that over 50 countries have pledged around $50 million to the UN to support relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts. The UN Children’s Fund is completing an assessment of the needs of children within the country and has been providing health, education and water and sanitation supplies as well as technical assistance.