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UN Agencies in Myanmar and NGOs holds Symposium on Tsunami Disaster Relief

2005/01/12

On January 6th 2005, the Tsunami Assistance Coordination Group coordinated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) held a Symposium on Tsunami Disaster Relief, on which they made a statement that praised the quick response of the Myanmar Government in disaster relief and verified the accuracy of the Government's figure of assessment on the loss of lives and property in the affected areas of Myanmar. The group confirms a death toll of 60-80, and estimates the longer-term affected population at 10-15,000, of whom 5-7,000 are directly affected.

The Coordination Group consists of IFRC, ICRC, MRCS, UNRC, UNDP, WFP, UNICEF, WHO, UNIC, UNHCR and many international non-governmental organizations as MSF(CH), MSF(Holland), World Vision, CARE, SCF(UK), PSI, ZOA, ADRA.

Right after the tsunami disaster took place, members of the Coordination Group sent working teams to the affected areas to conduct field research and assessment, which verified that the scale of the tsunami's impact on Myanmar is minimal. The Yangon based resident coordinator for the United Nations Mr. Charles Petrie was at New Saung Beach of Myanmar on Dec. 26th, the day of tsunami disaster took place. He confirmed that the tsunami "was harder to notice".

In the statement, the Coordination Group expressed that 3 stages of disaster relief work would be carried out. The first is emergency aid when they are distributing materials from the 70 storages of ICRC in Myanmar to those people affected; the second stage will be the assessment for infrastructure destruction that includes the damage to houses, soil and crops, fishing facilities etc., and to provide relevant assistances; the third stage will be reconstructing health care and education infrastructure and services to help those areas resume normal production.

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