Main Navigation

Myanmar (Burma) - Cyclone Nargis 2008

Over the past year, the global Red Cross movement and other relief agencies have provided life-saving assistance to millions of people affected by Cyclone Nargis.

Australians generously contributed more than $8 million towards the Red Cross Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Appeal.

Volunteers play a vital role

When Cyclone Nargis hit, Red Cross was the only major aid agency operating on the ground. We were able to reach affected people quicker than anyone else. Tens of thousands of Myanmar Red Cross volunteers were there to respond immediately and continue to help survivors in ways many others can't.

Chit Oo, a first aid educator and disaster response volunteer rescued Naing Linn Htun and her three children from a flooded rice paddy. He revived the mother using CPR skills he had learnt as a Red Cross volunteer.

read Chit Oo's story

Since the Cyclone, Red Cross has run health and first aid activities for more than 30,000 people.

Helping people re-build their lives

As the focus now moves to long-term recovery, International Red Cross is focusing on helping 100,000 families in 13 townships. We are rebuilding health clinics and schools, helping people gain access to shelter and clean water, providing first aid training and offering psychosocial support to help people overcome the trauma.

More than 6,000 people have participated in our cash for work programs, allowing them to earn income while restoring destroyed roads, bridges and jetties in their own communities.

'One of our most important roles is helping disaster-affected populations take part in securing their own future well-being,' says Bernd Schell, the head of the country office for the International Federation in Yangon.

'Our livelihoods and emotional recovery programs aim to engage and empower the affected communities to fully participate in rebuilding their lives,' says Bernd.

Survivor, Daw Dhein, who cares for her orphaned grandson, is eager to regain control of her own life and play a part in the recovery of her village as well.

'The food and support we receive is important, but we need to take care of ourselves and I am ready for work,' she says.

read Daw Dhein's story

Our water module continues to save lives

Our new water treatment module was transported by boat to the delta soon after Cyclone Nargis hit, and is capable of pumping out 5,000 litres of clean water every hour.

Soon after, we handed that equipment over to Myanmar Red Cross and it continues to fill a vital role for disaster-affected communities, providing much needed water throughout the dry season.

Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Appeal 2008

The Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Appeal has now closed, however millions of people around the world are still vulnerable to natural disasters. The Disaster Preparedness and Response Appeal is still accepting donations to help communities in Australia or overseas be better prepared when disaster strikes.

Donations made to the Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Appeal 2008 will:

  • Support the relief and recovery needs of households and communities affected by Cyclone Nargis, including clean water, emergency shelter and household items
  • Send specialist aid workers to assist in the Red Cross response
  • Assist Myanmar Red Cross in preparing and responding to this and future emergencies.


Australian Red Cross will deduct no more than 10% of any donation for an international Appeal to cover its appeal costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency preparedness and response initiatives in the Asia Pacific region.

Information on missing family members

How the Tracing Service can assist

Donations and support - where they come from

The Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Appeal has now closed. Australian Red Cross has received more than AUD $8 million in donations or pledges to assist those affected by the disaster.

Download the December 2008 update for donors
[file size: 6.7MB/type: PDF]


Feature story: Village life in the balance (24/06/08)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Special section: Myanmar - Cyclone Nargis

Media release: major milestones reached, but more humanitarian work still to be done (31/10/08)
Media release: survival in the cyclone's shadow (15/07/08)
Media release: Ayeyarwady's anguish (11/06/08)
Media release: disease in the stricken delta (05/06/08)
Media release: Voices from the field: 'I will return tomorrow' (29/05/08)
Media release: Finding ways to address urgent water and sanitation needs (26/05/08)

Operations update No. 9, (19/05/08) [PDF file, 970k]

Cyclone Nargis revised emergency appeal (16/05/08)
[PDF file, 1.36mb]

International Committee of the Red Cross

Feature story: Supporting the National Society to help reunite families (15/05/08)
Media release: ICRC assistance reaches cyclone-affected places of detention (13/05/08)
Media release: ICRC flies relief into cyclone-hit country (11/05/08)