অ্যাকসেসিবিলিটি লিংক

Burma To Let Neighbors Take Lead in Recovery Efforts

  • VOA News

Burma has agreed to let its Southeast Asian neighbors oversee an international effort to bring foreign medical teams and aid to areas hard-hit by Cyclone Nargis.

The breakthrough agreement came on Monday in Singapore during an emergency meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo says that while Burma has agreed to accept nearly 300 medical personnel from ASEAN countries, it does not mean there will be uncontrolled access.

Burma has been resisting requests to send in foreign aid workers since Cyclone Nargis hit on May third, and international aid officials warn more relief is needed to prevent starvation and disease.

At the meeting today, ASEAN foreign ministers also agreed to establish a mechanism to coordinate foreign assistance for cyclone victims.

The United Nations and ASEAN will host a joint conference in Rangoon next week to seek international support and financial aid for those affected by Nargis.

The meeting will also focus on longer term recovery efforts. Burmese officials say losses from the storm could be up to 10 billion dollars.

Burma says the death toll from Nargis is nearly 78-thousand, and nearly 56-thousand more people are missing. The country's military leaders plan to hold three days of mourning beginning Tuesday.

Burma allowed U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes to tour the Irrawaddy Delta today and also announced that it would let small groups of representatives from several countries visit the cyclone-hit delta in the coming days.

The moves come as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is preparing to travel to Burma on Wednesday. It is unclear whether the country's top leader, General Than Shwe will meet with Mr. Ban, but he is expected to travel to areas affected by the disaster.

Burmese state television showed General Than Shwe making his second visit to the disaster zone today, traveling to some of the hardest-hit areas for the first time. Until Sunday, he had not made a single remark or public appearance about the disaster.
XS
SM
MD
LG