UNDP Supports Cyclone Nargis survivors

08 May 2008

At least 22,980 people were killed and more than 42,000 are still missing after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar on 2-3 May, according to State authorities. Sweeping through the country’s largest city, Yangon, and the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) Delta region, the cyclone has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Both areas remain official disaster zones.

At least 22,980 people were killed and more than 42,000 are still missing after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar on 2-3 May, according to State authorities. Sweeping through the country’s largest city, Yangon, and the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) Delta region, the cyclone has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Both areas remain official disaster zones. The 120-mile per hour winds knocked out power and communications, overturned cars, uprooted trees and damaged and destroyed buildings and houses in Yangon. Limited water, communications and electricity services have been restored to parts of the city, however the extent of the damage means recovery will be a slow and lengthy process for its six million residents.

The effect of the cyclone has been particularly devastating in the Delta, where entire villages have been flattened and the highest number of casualties is recorded. While the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is not a relief agency, it is the only UN agency located in the region, which is home to seven million people. Five of the agency's microfinance project personnel based in Labutta, under contract with the international non-governmental organization Pact, are amongst the casualties, with many others having lost members of their immediate families. Read more...