Christian Aid appeals for more gifts to help survivors of Burma cyclone

Christian Aid appeals for more gifts to help survivors of Burma cyclone

By agency reporter
23 Jun 2008

Give a virtual gift on someone else's behalf for a birthday or Christmas to someone in the developing world through Christian Aid's Present Aid website here.

Christian Aid is appealing for more funds to help survivors of the Burma cyclone so partner organisations can continue to carry out vital relief and rehabilitation work.

The charity launched an appeal after the cyclone on May 2, which killed an estimated 130,000 people, with a target of £2 million.

So far Christian Aid has raised £1.7 million, including one extremely generous gift of £100,000 from an individual donor.

Christian Aid partners have distributed food, water purification tablets, rain water collection and storage kits as well as food, clothing, blankets, cooking utensils and medicines.

"We want to thank everyone who has already given money to the Christian Aid Burma cyclone appeal. We believe that donations have been lower than expected in part because the story in the media was that aid could not be delivered because of restrictions by the Burmese regime,’ said Robin Greenwood, Christian Aid’s head of Asia and Middle East Division.

"The regime has not given full access for international aid workers, but our local partners have been supplying aid to 200,000 people since the cyclone struck and will continue to do so.

"We are asking for people’s support now because there is a need for more funds for our partners to continue to do their vital relief and rehabilitation work."

The challenge now is to provide shelter and to enable survivors to get back to work either as farmers or fishermen.

An entrepreneur and former investment banker, who wants to remain anonymous, made a donation of £100,000 for Christian Aid’s work in Burma.

"Like many people, we were horrified to hear of the events unfolding in Burma following Cyclone Nargis," he said. "Our first assumption was that aid was not able to get through to the people who needed it the most. However, Christian Aid impressed upon us the reality that, with sufficient resources, their partners were positioned to assist thousands of survivors to rebuild their lives for the long-term.

"We were impressed and reassured by the professionalism of Christian Aid but perhaps the most compelling argument put to us was simply that the scale of the disaster sits in stark contrast to the resources committed thus far by the international community. So, we decided to make a serious investment."

Christian Aid was part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal and will receive a share of the £15 million which has been raised so far.

Donations can be made by calling 08080 004 004 or visiting: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/current/burma_cyclone/index.aspx

You can also send gifts to regions such as Burma on behalf someone else as a gift through Christian Aid's Present Aid website here.

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