World comes together to help cyclone survivors

More than 45 countries and regional organisations have signed up to attend a donors conference in Burma tomorrow to mobilise funds for immediate humanitarian assistance for the survivors of Cyclone Nargis.

The conference in Burma’s commercial capital, Rangoon, is being sponsored by the United Nations and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said yesterday the conference will focus on immediate aid but at the same time will start looking into medium- and long-term needs.

The United Nations launched an emergency appeal for $187m US (€119m) on May 9 and then raised the amount to $201m (€127m).

That figure will likely increase further once disaster relief experts are able to survey the hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta.

When the appeal was launched, the UN urged donor nations to pledge money for food, water purification tablets, emergency health kits, mosquito nets, cooking sets, plastic sheeting and water jugs. It said the money would go to 10 UN agencies and nine non-governmental organisations.

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