An update from friends on the ground in Myanmar tell us that the situation continues to be dire and that every bit of help that we can muster will save lives.
“The skies have turned anthracite grey this afternoon in Yangon – an ominous sign that heavy rains are on their way in a few minutes. Winds are pushing the temporary plastic windows up against the back of my chair as I write. On my desk are photographs taken earlier this week of families in the Irrawaddy Delta huddled under a fallen tree during a downpour. These are dark days in Myanmar.
The magnitude of the crisis here is almost unimaginable. The latest realistic estimates are that over 100,000 people have died and about 2 million people are affected. It’s hard to get one’s head around this. We’ve had our staff out in the affected areas for over thirteen days now. They come back and forth with so many tragic stories. Whole families drowned. Sole survivors of an entire village. People with broken hips and major injuries with no one to care for them. Houses obliterated by 120mph winds. Countless swollen dead bodies floating in the small creeks and rivers that crisscross the Delta. Skin sandblasted raw from the wind. Families stripped of all of their possessions by the cyclone. Suicidal survivors. Traumatized children.
Almost two weeks after the cyclone tore through the Delta, thousands of families are now lined up along the high ground of rural roads with nothing to eat and virtually no shelter. Hundreds and hundreds of devastated but accessible villages have still not received one ounce of assistance. A massive public health crisis is emerging as people who are weak, traumatized, malnourished and often injured have no shelter or food. Children and elderly people with diarrhea are wasting away. The amount of aid reaching victims in just a trickle compared to the millions of people in desperate need.
Margaret, we are grateful for all of the funds Global Giving is able to raise. Support is badly needed for this relief stage and also for the recovery stage over the next 125 days. We can assure contributers that their assistance is really getting to people in need, right now, every day.”