Myanmar (MNN) — More than a
month has passed since Cyclone Nargis ravaged Myanmar. The United Nations estimates that more than one
million people still have not received help–medical or otherwise.
While a team of Southeast Asian
experts have gotten in Myanmar for an assessment, they're reporting it will be
hard to find ways to deliver aid. Myanmar's junta authority claimed to have
opened access in the Irrawaddy Delta, but the logistical problems facing the
relief effort may reveal the real picture.
Ministries from around the world
have been scrambling to find ways to get around some of the government
resistance to help.
Some, like International Aid,
have succeeded. International Aid's
President and CEO Myles Fish says their shipment is in transit now and should
arrive early next week.
"This shipment contains six
medical clinics. The best way to
describe what those include would be to picture everything that you'd have in a
doctor's office: examining tables, scales, monitors, those kinds of things
that are desperately needed to provide rudimentary health care services that
this displaced population is in such dire need of."
The medical equipment's first
stop will be Bangkok, Thailand, where a faith-based NGO, Partners Relief and
Development, will trans-ship and deploy the clinics inside Myanmar. That organization (www.partnersworld.org)
has worked since 1994 on behalf of displaced people in Myanmar and in
IA isn't stopping with
restoration of the medical infrastructure. There's also a need for clean, potable water. The agency is raising funds to support the
manufacture, shipment and implementation of 50,000 HyrdAid BioSand Water
Filters to provide a long-term, safe water solution to the cyclone survivors.
International Aid's Senior
Advisor for Disaster Relief, Sonny Enriquez, has also been in Myanmar since May
30. He's been establishing distribution
networks with local churches and faith-based Non-Government Organizations.
Fish explains their approach. "We
found that supporting the local Christian movement that is in-country enables
them to use our supplies not only to demonstrate the love of Christ, but then
to build the kind of relationships that are necessary so that they get to the
point where they can articulate their faith in Christ."