Rain hurts Myanmar relief efforts

Marketplace Staff May 15, 2008
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Rain hurts Myanmar relief efforts

Marketplace Staff May 15, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: An incredible number out of Myanmar this morning: The Red Cross is now estimating the cyclone death toll to be as high as 128,000. That’s a much larger figure than the government tally.

Lisa Chow reports heavy rains from another approaching storm are disrupting what’s already been a recovery nightmare.


Lisa Chow: It’s already been a logistical nightmare, but it could get worse. More rain creates all sorts of problems for delivering food.

Marcus Prior has seen it before. He is spokesman for the World Food Program in Bangkok.

Marcus Prior: Even offloading supplies off planes at the airport becomes more difficult. There are obviously certain supplies that need to stay dry, particularly when it comes to food. We have to hope that the weather does not become another huge obstacle to the relief effort.

Prior says two World Food Program logistical experts received visas and flew to Yangon this morning. They’ll join a team of more than 200 people on the ground trying to ramp up the food operation.

So far, the U.N. agency has sent more than 700 tons of rice, beans and high-energy biscuits to Myanmar. That’s just enough to feed 100,000 people a first ration. But that’s not enough, considering that up to 2.5 million people may have been displaced by the storm.

In Beijing, I’m Lisa Chow, for Marketplace.

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