MADRE Statements

Burma: Cyclone Nargis Emergency Response Update

Posted on: Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Keywords: Burma, Emergency Relief, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice

The repeated obstruction of international aid efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in Burma meant that cyclone survivors lacking access to food, water, sanitation, and shelter relied heavily on monasteries, churches, and NGOs for support. In response to the devastation wrought by the cyclone, MADRE partnered with the Women’s Human Rights Defenders Network and Burmese organizations such as Grassroots Human Rights Education and Development, a coalition of Burmese teachers, workers, and activists that works with the Burmese migrant community in Southern Thailand, to provide emergency support to survivors.


Serious flooding remained for weeks after Cyclone Nargis - © Grassroots Human Rights Education & Development

MADRE supported teams of volunteers who were able to cross the borders from Thailand and gain access to communities by giving the names and locations of their local relatives. Once inside Burma, volunteers assessed the situation and distributed food, blankets, and clothing in the hardest-hit areas. Volunteers visited communities such as the South Okkalapa Township, where they distributed rice to 120 orphans living in a monastery, and the village of Kyun Gyan Gon, where more than 80% of homes had been destroyed and people had lost almost all of their belongings.

Children with rice donation - © Grassroots Human Rights Education & Development

A cyclone survivor carrying a donated blanket and other items - © Grassroots Human Rights Education & Development

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Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
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