The U.N. is reporting as many as 100,000 dead and more missing.
International media is reporting that most countries wanting to send aid to Burma, including the U.S., are waiting outside the country in ships, helicopters and planes…waiting for permission from the junta to let them enter. NGO’s insist on distributing the aid themselves but the junta wants it to go through them…of course…and then they’ll snag much of it and take the credit for the rest…not wanting to admit that they can’t handle the catastrophe themselves.
Commercial flights, however, have partially resumed. The web is awash with people in Asia wanting to help. Yesterday a woman posted this:
I am presently talking w/ my colleagues back in Myanmar at the International School Yangon (Rangoon) and they are setting up a fund raising ‘relief’ fund in Singapore that they will be able to access to directly help the people of Myanmar without governmental interference – soon. Most likely I will find out tomorrow, Friday May 9, some more information and will be able to share that with you. Our school is putting together several community service projects to rebuild homes, provide safe water, food and other services. I will post the information as soon as I have it.
A Swiss guy living and working in Rangoon has this to say this afternoon:
“To my knowledge most of the money donated to charity will end up in administration and of the money that actually makes it to Myanmar a huge percentage will end up in the hands of the corrupt Junta. The best thing would be to bring in the money in cash and hook up with a NGO who can distribute it directly to the places where it’s most needed. I was in Bangkok during the disaster but some friends went to buy rice and gave it straight to the people on the street. That’s also a way to do it. I’m going back to Yangon tomorrow with lots of candles and purification tablets.”
A Thai friend and I bought tickets for Rangoon a month ago. Hmmmm.