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$3 Million Requested by UNFPA to Help Women and Girls Displaced by Myanmar Cyclone
Date:5/9/2008

UNITED NATIONS, May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is appealing for $3 million to address the urgent humanitarian concerns of cyclone-affected populations, particularly women and girls, in Myanmar's Ayeyarwady and Yangon regions.

The amount is being sought as part of a joint flash appeal to be launched by the United Nations today. Tens of thousands of pregnant women made homeless by the cyclone urgently need lifesaving assistance. UNFPA is working with humanitarian partners to mobilize emergency reproductive health supplies, including safe delivery kits, for those affected.

Disasters like Cyclone Nargis put expectant mothers and their babies at special risk because of the sudden loss of medical support, compounded by trauma, malnutrition and disease. Among the estimated 1.5 million people severely affected by the storm, one in five women of childbearing age is likely to be pregnant; around 15 per cent of them will suffer from complications during labour.

Teams from United Nations and non-governmental agencies are assessing the needs for food, water, sanitation, shelter and health among the displaced. As part of the coordinated international response, UNFPA will send supplies to make deliveries safer. These include individual kits containing a clean razor blade, a string for cutting and tying the umbilical cord, a plastic sheet, a bar of soap, and a blanket to keep the newborn warm. This would save infants and prevent life-threatening post-delivery infections in mothers who cannot reach a medical facility.

Medicines and equipment will also be sent to help health workers take care of women with complicated pregnancies. These include intravenous drip sets, antibiotics, painkillers, syringes, sterile gloves and small sterilizing machines.

In the emergency projects outlined in today's flash appeal, UNFPA will work with key United Nations organizations and local and international
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SOURCE United Nations Population Fund
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