Canadian Red Cross aid worker returns from Myanmar cyclone zone

Report
from Canadian Red Cross
Published on 17 Jul 2008 View Original
(July 17, 2008 - OTTAWA) Canadian Red Cross aid worker Luc Dumoulin has recently returned from Myanmar after working with the Red Cross relief effort for over a month following Cyclone Nargis, which devastated large parts of the country on May 2. Dumoulin provided logistics support for the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies operation.

Over 27,000 Myanmar Red Cross Society volunteers and staff, supported by over 30 disaster response experts from the International Federation, have provided relief to half a million survivors, eighty per cent in the worst-hit Ayeyarwady (Irrawady) Delta region.

'We've had roughly three flights of aid a week arriving in Myanmar since soon after the cyclone hit,' says Dumoulin. 'Between air and sea freight, we've been able to bring in over 2,500 tonnes of supplies to distribute to people in need.'

Estimates show that 95 per cent of houses in the affected delta region were destroyed, and more than one million people are homeless.

The Canadian Red Cross managed the delivery of 2,000 shelter kits from the Government of Canada in May and will continue to support the International Federation's relief effort. With official numbers of 84,500 dead and nearly 54,000 still missing, the International Federation is projecting a recovery process of at least three years.

'The generous contributions from Canadians and the Government of Canada have allowed life-saving supplies like shelter kits, hygiene kits, water purification tablets, blankets, mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and other items to reach to the Myanmar Red Cross for distribution to the most vulnerable,' says Dumoulin.

'Thousands of Myanmar Red Cross volunteers have been working seven days a week to help the people - many of them family, friends and neighbours - affected by this disaster. It has been an extraordinary effort and the Canadian Red Cross will continue to support them as the focus shifts from emergency response to a longer term recovery plan that will see lives and communities rebuilt, and livelihoods restored. The operation is well underway, but considering the extent of the damage there is still a long road ahead.'

Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may give online at www.redcross.ca, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked 'Myanmar Cyclone' and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 186 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Christina Lopes, Canadian Red Cross
W: (613) 740-1815
E-mail: christina.lopes@redcross.ca