Friday, August 8, 2008

Burma on 8-8-08: new fears for Irrawaddy Delta

The Irrawaddy reports that Burmese wore black shirts today in commemoration of victims of the violently-suppressed 1988 democracy protests.

Meanwhile, concerning the cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy Delta, the AP reports:
Conditions are far starker than reflected in the assessments from Burmese government and even in the recent optimism of some UN officials, The Associated Press has concluded from a review of data, a private flight over the delta and interviews with victims and aid workers.

Three months after a disaster that claimed nearly 140,000 lives, thousands of villagers are still getting little or nothing from their government or foreign aid groups.
Money quote from the AP report:
A survey of families in 291 villages showed that 55 percent have less than one day of food left and no stocks to fall back on. Some 924,000 people will need food assistance until the November rice harvest, while around 300,000 will need relief until April 2009.
This report is especially ominous if read in conjunction with this FAO press release which warned that many farmers of the Irrawaddy Delta are at risk of entirely missing the 2008 rice-planting season.

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