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Enormous Recovery Challenges Remain in Myanmar One Year After Cyclone Nargis
Date:4/30/2009

WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One year after Cyclone Nargis devastated the Ayeyarwaddy Delta in Myanmar, enormous challenges remain in restoring livelihoods and water sources, building shelters and schools, and in providing psychosocial support to traumatized survivors. The Red Cross is supporting 100,000 families in thirteen townships with health education, clean water, improved housing, cash-for-work and emotional support.

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"One of our most important roles is helping disaster-affected populations to take part in securing their own future well-being," says Bernd Schell, the head of the country office for the Red Cross in Yangon. Schell notes that "our livelihoods and emotional recovery programs aim to engage and empower the affected communities to fully participate in rebuilding their lives."

The Red Cross is providing shelter to thousands of families, as well as implementing a wide variety of "cash-for-work" programs, where beneficiaries earn income while restoring destroyed roads, bridges and jetties. These projects and the beneficiaries are chosen in cooperation with the communities.

Many survivors have had little opportunity to earn an income since the cyclone, and are struggling with debt. The cash-for-work program is helping supplement incomes until farmers, fishermen and casual workers can get back to making a living, according to Schell.

Shelter also remains a major priority. "It is estimated that 20 percent (100,000 families) of those whose homes were destroyed, still live under tarpaulins," he said. "Tens of thousands more live in temporary, sub-standard shelters, which will not be able to withstand another storm."

Although the Red Cross has made progress in restoring water so
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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