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Red Cross aid workers and planes gain access to Myanmar

Friday May 9, 2008

The first consignment of Red Cross emergency shelters has arrived at Yangon international airport, with two more flights containing shelter equipment, tools, ropes mosquito nets, food and health and hygiene kits for thousands of people set to arrive on Friday morning.

Red Cross disaster management specialists, including Australian Michael Annear, are on the ground ensuring a rapid, well planned response. Logisticians and water and sanitation experts have also been cleared to enter the country and are on their way in the coming hours.

These aid workers are working alongside more than 27,000 local Red Cross staff and volunteers who continue - despite the hazards and fatigue - to bring relief to suffering families.

'I've been working alongside the local Red Cross staff and volunteers and the way people have put aside personal loss and suffering to help family, friends and neighbours is amazing and inspiring, but we know the task ahead of us is massive', says Michael Annear.

Another Australian, Bridget Gardner, is the most senior Red Cross person in Myanmar. She hopes the positive results achieved getting people and equipment into the country will continue to gather pace.

'Our plan is to use a combination of charter flights along with all the available commercial air space that we can get,' she says. 'We are looking at every option to get aid to where it is needed. We are also exploring overland options. Every option, every idea is being explored.'

To donate to the Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Nargis Appeal 2008:

  • make an online donation

  • phone 1800 811 700

  • send a cheque or money order to PO Box 2957, Melbourne, 8060

  • at any branch of the Commonwealth bank

Donations to the Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Nargis 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.