Myanmar: Cyclone Nargis 2008 Facts and Figures

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Facts and figures

On 2 May 2008, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar, crossing the south of the country over two days, and devastating the Ayeyarwady Delta region. According to official figures, 84,500 people were killed and 53,800 went missing. A total of 37 townships were significantly affected by the cyclone. The UN estimates that as many as 2.4 million people were affected.


The three-year Cyclone Nargis relief and recovery operation is conducted by the Myanmar Red Cross Society with the support of the IFRC, and targeted 100,000 affected households in 13 townships. In total, the operational area in these townships encompasses a land area of approximately 17,558 sq km.
• Appeal target: CHF 68.5 million
• Appeal coverage: 104 per cent
• Actual expenditure: 90 per cent
Below are included some facts on how this operation supported those affected and helped them to get back on their feet and restart their lvies.


• 12,404 families have been provided with new homes.
• 25 schools have been built, benefiting approximately 3,250 school children.
• 19 sub-rural health centres have been constructed.
• 93 Red Cross posts for community-oriented resilience-building activities such as first aid have been constructed.
• 171 community buildings or infrastructure have been repaired.


• 19,353 people and their families have regained or strengthened their livelihoods in crop and vegetable farming, livestock farming, fisheries and small business.
• 7,444 people and their families have benefited from “cash-for-work” opportunities.
• Shade and fruit trees have been planted in 109 villages to protect the environment.

Health and care

• 160,014 people have been provided with basic health care.
• 127,410 school children have engaged in good hygiene practices.
• 247 Red Cross volunteers and 4,358 community volunteers have been trained in community-based health and first aid. They have helped facilitate community-oriented health activities for 77,255 people.
• Psychosocial support-oriented community activities have benefited 70,363 people.
• Child-centred recreational kits have benefited children in 465 schools or educational institutions while adult-centred kits have benefited communities in 668 villages.

Water, sanitation and hygiene promotion

• About 45,768 school children have access to clean water thanks to the construction of rainwater collection tanks and wells in school compounds.
• Entire communities across 13 townships have access to clean water due to initiatives such as the rehabilitation of 446 communal ponds, the construction of 121 new ponds, cleaning of 500 tube wells and dug wells as well as the construction of a further 207 new wells, and the installation of 529 rainwater collection tanks.
• The construction of latrines have enabled about 12,064 school children and 46,993 families to practise better hygiene.

Disaster preparedness and risk reduction

• Over four thousand people from 136 villages in at-risk areas have been trained in community-based disaster risk management. They have been provided with loud speakers serving as early warning equipment, as well as stretchers and educational materials.
• 300 school children and 20 teachers have been trained in school-based disaster risk management.
• As a means to improve communications, telephone lines have been installed or portable telephones have been purchased for several Red Cross township branch offices.

National Society and community capacity building

• Approximately 900 Red Cross volunteers continue to provide valuable support in various field activities, while serving as vital links with affected communities. Many of them have received planned or on-the-job training.
• Vulnerable communities have been able to improve their resilience through assistance such as restored and expanded clean water sources, improved hygiene, disease awareness and prevention, advanced planting techniques, improved livestock management, household shelter construction techniques incorporating disaster risk reduction elements, schools which can serve as storm shelters, and training in disaster preparedness.