Two massive natural disasters in two East Asian countries – Myanmar and China – over the past five weeks have brought home just how quickly and dramatically life and livelihoods can be destroyed. Our experts in natural disaster recovery and reconstruction know this only too well.
I had the chance today to attend a speech by ASEAN's (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Secretary General, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, right after he had met with the Bank's President Bob Zoellick. He told us they discussed ways to increase the cooperation between the two organizations, but the most interesting and pressing aspect of it all is that they talked about specific ways in which the Bank will be helping out the victims of Cyclone Nargis through ASEAN.
As advanced in an earlier post, here's a short list to the webpages for online donations of international NGOs that have a large presence in the country and so are likely to be most effective under the difficult circumstances:
The New York Times reports that some aid has begun flowing into Myanmar, but it looks like the mobilization for major relief operations is still underway and not clearly defined.
As the official estimate of fatal victims of cyclone Nargis raises to 22,000 --not counting the more than 40,000 missing--, World Bank President Bob Zoellick has just issued a statement:
With winds clocked at over 190 kilometers per hour Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar on Friday, May 2, about 250 kilometers southwest of the capital Yangon. On Monday United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was “very much alarmed” over estimates from Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry that over 10,000 people may have died. The New York Times is reporting on the devastation, which comes before a constitutional