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Red Cross leads relief efforts in cyclone-hit Myanmar

Tuesday May 6, 2008

Red Cross relief workers providing aid to thousands affected by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar

Red Cross aid workers and volunteers are on the ground, distributing life-saving relief items to affected families - such as drinking water, clothing, food and emergency shelter. Relief workers are now assessing the damage in all affected areas to plan a major relief effort over the coming weeks.

The local Red Cross network covers the country with key branches in the most affected areas and more than 19,000 staff and volunteers who are able to help in areas such as first aid and relief activities.

'It is clear the situation in Myanmar is an unfolding tragedy on a massive scale. Red Cross is there providing assistance and we stand ready to send aid workers and equipment to lend a hand with the relief effort,' said Robert Tickner CEO Australian Red Cross.

The International Red Cross has released an initial $200,000 to support relief efforts in Myanmar, where high winds, heavy rain and flood water has claimed thousands of lives and tens of thousands of homes.

'In responding to the aftermath of the cyclone, our first priority will be to distribute food and other relief items, to provide emergency shelter, and to ensure that people have access to basic health care and clean water,' continued Mr Tickner.

Longer-term needs are likely to include providing shelter, restoring clean water supplies and repairing sanitation facilities.