Friday, May 09, 2008

When Man Makes Natural Disasters Worse

From the AP: UN halts aid to Myanmar after junta seizes supplies.
Myanmar's junta seized U.N. aid shipments Friday meant for a multitude of hungry and homeless survivors of last week's devastating cyclone, forcing the world body to suspend further help.

The aid included 38 tons of high-energy biscuits and arrived in Myanmar on Friday on two flights from Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.

"All of the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated," U.N. World Food Program spokesman Risley said.

"For the time being, we have no choice but to end further efforts to bring critical needed food aid into Myanmar at this time," he said.

At least 62,000 people are dead or missing in Myanmar, entire villages are submerged in the Irrawaddy delta and aid groups warned that the area is on the verge of a medical disaster.

The U.N. has grown increasingly critical of Myanmar's military rulers' refusal to let foreign aid workers into the country while the junta appeared overwhelmed and more than 1 million homeless people waited for food, medicine and shelter.
In the end, it will be the military junta who caused more deaths than the cyclone. It is only a matter of time.

The sad part is that while we can't necessarily avoid the cyclone, this is one tragedy that can be avoided rather easily.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't let the Myanmar military get their hands on that food. "Just leave it here, we will distribute it ourselves," the Myanmar government says. Yeah and if you believe that, I have some oceanfront property in Utah I'll sell you. The Myanmar military just wants to seize it to feed their military. Ethiopia did something like this 23 years ago.