RANGOON – Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday appealed for international assistance in light of the recent floods.
In a seven-minute video clip posted on Facebook, she stressed the importance of coordinated foreign aid in helping to rehabilitate the disaster-stricken country.
“I would like to appeal to help us generously,” she said. “The international community (needs) to co-ordinate very carefully to make sure they are giving us the help that is really needed by our people at this time.”
Weeks of heavy monsoon rains in Myanmar have now seen more than 200,000 people affected and at least 47 dead.
The 70-year-old leader emphasised that there were ‘still a couple of months to go’ before the monsoons were officially over, and urged the people not to forget post-emergency efforts.
“At times like this, people are very quick to respond and to give with compassion and generosity,” she said. “But what we worry about is that when the emergency period has passed, people will start to forget, and there will not be enough, for the real job of rehabilitation,” she said.
The Nobel Laureate stated that her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, together with the Daw Khim Kyi foundation, named after her late mother, were ‘trying its best to bring relief’ to areas that were still in a state of emergency.
Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said it would provide blankets, mattresses and plastic sheets following the government’s appeal for help.
The Chinese embassy in Yangon has also been distributing relief supplies this week. The Singapore Red Cross has so far pledged US$100,000 in relief aid and emergency items to Myanmar.
Thailand’s King and Queen have donated 5 million baht to help flood victims in Myanmar as the death toll from monsoonal flooding continued to rise.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced $600,000 in humanitarian assistance to support flood relief efforts in Burma. This funding will help provide safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities, hygiene materials, emergency relief supplies, and other critical interventions to the people affected by the flooding caused by Cyclone Komen and monsoon rains.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said agencies were scaling up their emergency response.
It said the World Food Programme had started providing food rations to 47,800 people, with the aim of reaching 150,000 people eventually.
The UN children’s agency Unicef has distributed water purification and hygiene kits, and agencies are preparing to request for UN funds for financial support.