May 7 2008

SOS Children's Villages strongly feels for the people of Myanmar

07/05/2008 - The scale of the cyclone disaster in Myanmar is enormous and reminds us of the tsunami catastrophe in 2004. But today's situation is different: unfortunately SOS Children's Villages is not in the position to offer effective and rapid emergency aid.

On 3 May, the people of Myanmar experienced one of the worst cyclones in history, and as the week dawns we are only beginning to get a glimpse of the devastation and destruction left in the wake of the storm. While it is difficult to asses the magnitude of the devastation, official reports estimate over 22,000 people dead, over 41,000 people missing, and over 1 million people displaced.

SOS Children's Villages does not run any project in Myanmar; the current ruling military junta has made it very difficult for NGO’s like SOS Children's Villages to have access to the country. Among these barriers of the military government in Myanmar are financial restrictions on aid organisations and limitations on the movement of foreign humanitarian staff within the country. The United Nations has declared these restrictions “unacceptable,” but SOS Children’s Villages has little power to confront these limitations.

Unfortunately, the Myanmar cyclone emergency is not one where SOS Children's Villages can effectively contribute in helping the affected people in our spirit of quickly helping the communities from our existing bases.