The Government of Myanmar, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations have released the first comprehensive report covering the impact of Cyclone Nargis on the people in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Yangon. Among the highlights:
- It estimates the cyclone killed over 84,530 people, with a further 53,836 still reported missing.
- The assessment of damage and losses confirms a similar scale of impact to that of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in Indonesia in 2004, especially at the household and community severely damaged, together with around 4,000 schools.
- The cyclone wiped out the livelihoods of families overnight, flooding over 600,000 hectares of agricultural land, killing up to 50 per cent of draught animals, destroying fishing boats and sweeping away food stocks and agricultural implements.
- This has left households extremely vulnerable – in mid-June, 55 per cent reported having only one day of food stocks or less, and have relied in part on the steady flow of relief supplies.
- The total economic losses amount to about 2.7% of the projected 2008 GDP, with the effects of the cyclone concentrated on a region important for agriculture and fishing in Myanmar.
- Recovery needs, which are estimated at just over a total of US$1 billion over the next 3 years, include the most urgent priorities of significant food, agriculture, housing, basic services and support to communities for restoring their livelihoods and rebuilding assets.
- The indicative estimate of recovery needs and costs is preliminary and will need to be updated over time, reflecting the experience of other natural disasters in the region which demonstrate the importance of refining assessments and recovery plans at a sectoral level.