IRC responds after Cyclone Giri batters Myanmar
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is mobilizing as part of a coordinated humanitarian effort to offer assistance to communities affected by Cyclone Giri, which struck the northwestern coast of Myanmar last week. According to the government, some 71,000 people were displaced and over 14,000 homes destroyed by the storm while 1.1 million people have been affected in Rakhine State. The IRC’s efforts will initially focus on food and the distribution of clean water and emergency supplies.
An IRC team of water and sanitation and emergency plannning specialists traveled to the affected areas on October 28 to assess the damage and begin distribution of emergency supplies to some 6,000 people. Supplies include rice, oil, blankets, jerry cans, plastic sheeting, eating utensils, mosquito nets and sleeping mats.
As the IRC’s emergency response accelerates over the next few days, it will distribute household and hygiene kits, construct emergency latrines, set up emergency water treatment and distribution units, hand out water purification tablets and erect tanks capable of storing thousands of liters of drinking water. All told these efforts will aid 60,000 people in affected areas.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is frequently hit by tropical storms. In 2008, the IRC mounted a large relief effort after Cyclone Nargis left 138,000 people dead and displaced millions, mostly in the southwest delta region.