Myanmar: Emergency Shipments Arrive to Reinforce Action Against Hunger's Response on the Ground

ACF flies emergency teams and 40 tons of equipment and supplies into Yangon

The international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger/ ACF-USA has reinforced its efforts in Myanmar with additional shipments of relief materials and emergency response personnel. Plane loads en route for Yangon took off carrying crucial supplies—25 tons of protein biscuits, water purification kits, pumps and equipment for the provision of water, etc.—along with six additional experts in water and sanitation, logistics, and food security. These emergency personnel will reinforce Action Against Hunger’s 21 international and 300+ national staff already responding to the crisis in Myanmar.

Update: Bogalay in Critical Condition

According to Action Against Hunger’s teams on the ground, the cyclone has devastated the township of Bogolay, where survivors lack access to basic necessities such as food, shelter and medicine. Many are seeking shelter in improvised camps, and estimates indicate some 80,000 people in the area are in urgent need of assistance.

Conditions in Bogalay are all too indicative of the widespread humanitarian needs in post-Nargis Myanmar. For the past week survivors in Bogalay have lived on badly damaged rice stocks. These stocks constitute their only source of food and they are about to run out. Urgent humanitarian interventions are required to deliver timely food aid.

The same urgency applies to the region’s lack of clean water. With reservoirs running empty and others destroyed, survivors are forced to drink contaminated and brackish water from unprotected water points. Access to clean drinking water is of the highest urgency, but the scale of needs is daunting given the international community’s limited ability to get assistance where it is needed.

In the last two days, Action Against Hunger relief convoys have sent trucks into to previously inaccessible areas, delivering more than 25 tons of rice, water purification equipment, and technical expertise to address the humanitarian needs in Bogolay.

Urgent Priorities: Scale-Up Delivery of Food and Water

Action Against Hunger’s immediate priority is to provide life-sustaining nutritional products (high protein biscuits), food (rice, oil, beans, lentils), and essential non-food items (cooking and hygiene kits) along with the delivery of clean drinking water. With countless animal cadavers and corpses floating in the rivers and erstwhile infrastructure in shambles, the context is nothing short of challenging for Action Against Hunger’s and its colleague agencies responding in the region.

Action Against Hunger has worked in Myanmar since 1994 and currently intervenes in Rakhine and Kayah states through nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene activities, and food security programs. A team of 21 international staff and more than 300 national staff are currently mobilized in response to Cyclone Nargis.