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Myanmar Cyclone Survivors Face New Challenges

WASHINGTON, May 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As tropical storms continue to batter the affected area of the Irrawaddy delta, survivors of Cyclone Nargis are vulnerable to diseases and other severe problems. Many survivors still need assistance, as exposure to the foul weather and malnutrition are creating an increasingly dire situation.

"The people living in these conditions urgently need more help to recover from this disaster and get back on their feet," said David Meltzer, senior vice president, international services of the American Red Cross. "The Myanmar Red Cross and others are working hard to deliver relief and stave off these life-threatening secondary problems."

Already, more than 16 plane loads of supplies from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have landed in Yangon, carrying sheltering materials, mosquito nets, water purification systems and other emergency supplies.

This includes three plane loads of goods from the American Red Cross, providing more than 18,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets for malaria prevention and 3,500 tarps for shelter. In total, the American Red Cross is mobilizing 10,000 tarps, 20,000 mosquito nets, 3,800 kitchen sets, 30,000 water containers and 15,000 hygiene kits from its warehouses stocks in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. The American Red Cross has committed an initial contribution of $1.5 million in relief supplies and financial resources to help survivors following this cyclone and is prepared to send in additional resources and supplies in the coming days.

The Red Cross has established a relief pipeline into Myanmar, and more than 27,000 volunteers from the Myanmar Red Cross are distributing the bulk of these supplies. The Red Cross is establishing a series of regional hubs in the affected area that will be staffed by trained, local Red Cross volunteers.

The American Red Cross continues to assist survivors of the cyclone in Myanmar and the major earthquake in China, which struck on May 12, which serve as a stark reminder of the sudden and devastating impact that disasters have on people around the world. The rapid response of the American Red Cross to these and other disasters is made possible because the Red Cross has strategically pre-positioned supplies around the world and is able to quickly mobilize resources. This is only made possible through contributions to the International Response Fund. For more information, visit:

You can help those affected by this crisis and countless others around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-HELP NOW or mailing your donation, with the designation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.

SOURCE American Red Cross
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