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Friday, May 16, 2008

Message from "Save the Children" in Myanmar

We received this message from Save the Children
I am writing to you from Yangon, Myanmar, where emergency relief efforts in response to Cyclone Nargis are now in their second week.

Thank you so much for your support of the children and families here in Myanmar. Save the Children's first plane load of relief supplies arrived on Monday, May 12th. It passed government inspection and is currently being distributed in some of the hardest-hit areas of the delta region.

Save the Children has already reached 115,000 survivors with lifesaving supplies including rice, water, oral rehydration solution, plastic sheeting, and other urgently needed materials. The staff has been purchasing supplies locally within Myanmar and speeding them to families in need —by truck and by boat.

But now a week of heavy rain has begun. It is unbelievably miserable and dangerous for thousands in temporary shelters. Time is of the essence.

By mobilizing Save the Children's 500 aid workers who live in Myanmar, we are able to get to the most vulnerable children and families. Thirty of our child-protection staff have been trained to assist children who have been separated from their families, and we hope to get significant family-tracing activities going in as early as a day or two.

The spread of disease is one of our biggest concerns, as is the increasing number of diarrhea cases among children. And while that does not seem serious for Westerners, we know that diarrhea is a major killer among children in the developing world. Save the Children’s oral rehydration solution can save the lives of many of these children.

While the work is not easy, our hopes and spirits are strong. I’m told that as our team in Pathein was loading a boat, some local people — struggling themselves — arrived and offered to help. That really brought tears to our eyes. Their generosity and kindness, like yours, makes all our efforts worthwhile.

From Myanmar,

Andrew Kirkwood
Myanmar Country Office Director
Save the Children
To donate funds to the relief effort go here and remember, Save the Children is one of the only relief organizations that is on the ground actively helping victims of the cyclone, right now.

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