£5 million UK aid for Burma

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International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander today announced an initial UK contribution of up to £5 million to help with emergency relief efforts following Cyclone Nargis.

The Department for International Development (DFID) also announced it will be sending an emergency field team to help with the wider international relief efforts and support the DFID team already in Burma.

The UK financial contribution is the largest pledge for support from the international community so far. The UK will continue to support the work of the UN and other aid agencies to help deliver the most effective response to the situation.

Latest reports indicate that more than 22,000 people have lost their lives and up to 5 million people may be affected. The full scale of the disaster will only become apparent over the next few days as relief teams reach remote communities in the Irrawaddy Delta.

The UK is one of the few countries providing long term humanitarian assistance inside Burma. In October 2007, the UK announced that it would increase its aid for the poorest people in Burma to £18 million by 2010.

The UK is the largest country donor to the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), giving £40 million a year. The CERF is in place to assist following disasters such as Cyclone Nargis.