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Raising Aid For Burma

At a recent donors conference sponsored by the United Nations and ASEAN, the United States reiterated its offer of disaster relief for the millions of Burmese victims of cyclone Nargis. To date, the U.S. has made available over twenty-three-million dollars in humanitarian assistance for the people of Burma.

The U.S., said Deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey, joins "other donors in stressing the urgency and importance of the Burmese regime's implementation of its recent commitment to allow international relief teams full access to the cyclone-affected areas." The U.S., he said, "will work with ASEAN and the United Nations to determine the needs of the victims and expand humanitarian relief effort in Burma."

According to U.N. humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes, the U.N. has reached just over a million people with some kind of aid. The U.N estimates that some two-million four-hundred-thousand people in Burma are still in urgent need of help.

With millions of Burmese still in need of assistance, it is critical that Burma's military junta keep its word and permit disaster relief into the hardest hit areas. In a recent interview with the International Broadcasting Bureau’s On the Line program, First Lady Laura Bush said, "I want to urge the government of Burma to make sure people get this help, that it's just so important that people be helped. And I urge them to allow the international community to help in every way they can."