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31 Mar 2012 description
report Merlin

London 30 March, 2012 - As Myanmar prepared to go to the polls, there was an unprecedented sense of hope for the future. But taking the country out of poverty and raising the population’s standard of living won’t be easy.

01 Nov 2010 description
report Merlin

1 November 2010

Merlin has deployed an experienced water and sanitation team in Myebon Township, one of the areas worst-affected by Cyclone Giri. The cyclone - a category 4 storm - struck Rakhine state in Western Myanmar on the night of 22 October. Within Myebon Township, as many of 90% of homes in villages have been destroyed, and as many as 100,000 people have been left without shelter or possessions.

Dr Paul Sender, Merlin Country Director, said that "The scale of destruction is immense.

27 May 2010 description
report Merlin

Merlin is delivering clean water to over 20,000 people in 46 villages in Laputta Township, reaching communities who have been affected by severe water shortages since March, when the dry season took hold.

The monsoon rains were late to arrive this year, and the villagers' inability to cope with this lack of rainfall was compounded by Cyclone Nargis, which destroyed their existing water management infrastructure.

The bottom of the rainwater ponds are cracked and crumbly, the rainwater tanks are bone dry, and the cost of buying water from water vendors has risen sharply.

31 Dec 2009 description
report Merlin

Disaster Risk Reduction in Merlin:

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a key focus for Merlin. Merlin's approach to DRR aims to mitigate the impact of disasters on health and promote the critical role of an effective health system in risk reduction at local, national and international levels. Experience and learning from Merlin's programmes is vital in understanding the approach and promoting it more widely.

In Myanmar, Disaster Risk Reduction has been integrated into the programme approach in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta.

30 Nov 2009 description
report Merlin

Eighteen months after Cyclone Nargis devastated communities in the Irrawaddy Delta, there are critical needs that still haven't been addressed.

International donors pledged $88 million at an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) conference in Bangkok last week to support the recovery effort, but more funding is needed to help the most vulnerable - particularly women and children living in some of the most hard to reach areas.

While three out of four households even now have no access to improved water sources and nine out of ten babies are still delivered at home, the UN …

30 Apr 2009 description
report Merlin

One year after Cyclone Nargis devastated the Ayeyarwaddy Delta in Myanmar, Merlin is deeply concerned about a funding shortfall of US$47million for health services. Out of a total amount of US$53.8 million needed over the next three years to provide health care for the townships most severely affected, only US$6million has been pledged.

The cyclone destroyed 130 health facilities, badly damaging an additional 500. Work on rebuilding the health infrastructure has begun but this urgently needs to be continued.

20 Mar 2009 description
report Merlin

On World Water Day 2009, Merlin would like to draw attention to the critical clean drinking water shortages in the Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar.

Clean drinking water has always been a scarce resource in the Delta, but these shortages have been exacerbated by the devastating effects of Cyclone Nargis in May last year. The fact that the height of the dry season is fast approaching means that water shortages will peak imminently.

The Delta opens out onto the Bay of Bengal, meaning that southern stretches of the river are saline whilst the more northern parts are fresh water.

29 Jul 2008 description
report Merlin

Ben Mascall set out for Laputta six days after Cyclone Nargis pounded the Irrawaddy Delta. Upon arriving, he discovered the once-bustling town of 30,000 people and regional trade centre reduced to ruins. Fierce winds-clocked at 200 km per hour-had utterly reshaped the landscape.

18 Jun 2008 description
report Merlin

Doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken, Channel 4's Medicine Men, have been working for Merlin in Myanmar as part of our emergency response team.

On June 5th, Chris was one of only four people to be given unrestricted access to the Irrawaddy Delta, the region worst affected by Cyclone Nargis.

This is his diary.

Wednesday 4th June 2008: The permit, as promised

I've just found out that I'm going to the delta tomorrow.

I've been working for Merlin in Yangon for three weeks, helping to coordinate our relief programme in Laputta and I've been going to the Delta …

03 Jun 2008 description
report Merlin

One month on from Cyclone Nargis and UK-based medical aid agency, Merlin, is scaling up its response in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta helping to bring increased aid to some of the 2.4 million people still struggling without medicines, clean water and shelter.

Working with the World Health Organisation, Merlin is co-chairing a $28 million plan to provide immediate and longer-term health care for cyclone survivors.

28 May 2008 description
report Merlin

Merlin staff working on the 180ft floating health clinic delivered their first baby earlier this week. The healthy 8lb baby girl has been named Pandawlin, after Pandaw, the name of the boat and Merlin, whose staff delivered her.

Pandawlin is the first baby for Khin Mar Oo, 17, from a small village in Laputta district. The health facility there was destroyed in the cyclone and it would have taken them nine hours to travel to the hospital in Laputta by canoe.

20 May 2008 description
report Merlin

Pandaw IV, the 180ft river cruiser kindly donated to Merlin by Pandaw River Cruises, has arrived in the Irrawaddy Delta and from tomorrow, will start running mobile clinics and distributing vital supplies.

The boat, crewed by 27 staff from Myanmar, has enough basic health care supplies to treat 20,000 people for three months. Stocks also include tarpaulin sheets, which can be used to shelter families from the monsoon rains, food, medical equipment, water purification systems and water storage containers.

19 May 2008 description
report Merlin

Jonathan Pearce travelled to Myanmar recently and witnessed local health workers treating patients injured by the recent cyclone. Here is his first person account:

Mercifully there's been a lull in the rain this morning. Without the noise and misery of the downpour Laputta seems calmer. There is a feeling that we can start planning ahead.

14 May 2008 description
report Merlin

The recent earthquake in China has claimed an estimated 12,000 people's lives. Merlin is concerned and monitoring the emergency situation closely. We remain focused however on our Cyclone emergency response in Myanmar, where we have over 500 community health workers, as well as specialist staff, and where we have been working since 2004. We do not currently have a programme running in China.

13 May 2008 description
report Merlin

The situation in Laputta remains desperate for thousands of survivors of Cyclone Nargis, but our emergency supplies are now clearing customs in Myanmar. Their desperation isn't helped by the arrival of the monsoon rains. Torrents of rain have been unleashed in the last 48 hours, leaving much of Laputta ankle-deep in rainwater bringing new health risks.

12 May 2008 description
report Merlin

Merlin staff travelled by boat yesterday to deliver 600 gallons of clean water to 12,500 people, living in villages devastated by floods, along the low-lying coastal plains of Laputta.

The community ponds the villagers relied on for safe water were flooded in the 12ft tidal surge which followed Cyclone Nargis. Prior to Merlin's arrival, villagers had to travel by boat to get clean water and they had only managed to get 70 gallons at a time.

It took two hours to bring the precious cargo back from town, and even then the water was used within a matter of hours.

11 May 2008 description
report Merlin

Merlin's aid workers on the ground in the Irrawaddy Delta have said the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis is on the same scale as that wreaked by the 2004 Asian tsunami in Aceh. Laputta town was all but destroyed when the cyclone struck on May 3rd. As many as 100,000 people may have been killed, with hundreds of thousands more made homeless.

10 May 2008 description
report Merlin

Merlin has been on the ground in some of the hardest to reach areas since Wednesday, doing everything we can to save lives.

Paula Sansom, our Emergency Team health specialist has filed this latest information from the Irrawaddy Delta.

"We traveled from Yangon with a truck of Merlin medical supplies, including 500 vital hygiene kits, to the delta region yesterday. The cyclone destroyed one of our Merlin-supported clinics in Laputta but our teams have established another which is up and running. There are only a handful of aid agencies here with very little aid getting through.

10 May 2008 description
report Merlin

As many as 1,919,485 people in Myanmar have been affected by the cyclone which struck on Saturday

No fewer than 63,290 people have been killed, according to UN figures

220,000 people are reported missing

Over 5000 square kilometres of land is still flooded in the south of the country

How Merlin is helping

We've distributing water purification supplies throughout the Irrawaddy delta to communities most in need

We've saving lives in our clinics in Laputta, some of which were destroyed in the cyclone but have been swiftly rebuilt

We have an international emergency …

08 May 2008 description
report Merlin

Our rapid assessment emergency team has returned to Yangon from the Irrawaddy Delta, following Saturday's Cyclone Nargis which has devastated the coastal region.

Whole villages were wiped out as the cyclone whipped up a tidal wave nearly 12ft high.

Communication is still intermittent as many lines were ripped up when the cyclone struck. We did however manage to have a brief conversation with a Merlin staff member, who had the following to say:

'The scale of destruction is immense. People are scrambling for shelter and food.