Myanmar hit with more rain, harvest can’t some soon enough

By August 22, 2008

Myanmar (MNN) — For the country of Myanmar, the slow process of getting back on its feet has been further hampered by heavy rains in the last two weeks. Flooding is adding stress to the already-fragile infrastructure.

The rains reportedly caused people to flee from their homes and rice paddies to be further submerged.

Food for the Hungry continues to help survivors of May's Cyclone Nargis that killed as many as 140,000 in its path. The ministry has supplied four boats to four different villages to transport youth whose families can still afford to send them to school across the river. Many other kids have been forced to put school aside to work for their family's survival.

In one news report, a teenage girl expressed a severe sadness that she could not attend school as she sees others going each day. Instead, she collects empty plastic water bottles to sell to a dealer in town, which earns her about 3,500 kyat, or US$3, per day. With the money her mom makes at a roadside noodle shop, the family lives on about US$4 a day. 

The mother will not allow her daughter to leave their village to get a job in the city for fear that she will be attacked or kidnapped as a sex slave. She said her situation is just "destiny."

Food for the Hungry is also helping to replant rice crops, fish, and restore a settlement where migrant workers live. They've rebuilt homes there, added access points to the city water line,
and given out cooking utensils.

Even with workers in place and utensils to cook with, there is little food available. Food for the Hungry reports that pictures reveal that people are losing weight. The late November/early December harvest seems a long wait for people in need right now. Food for the Hungry is working hard
to offer consistent food until then.

The U.N. World Food Programme has had to cut in half the 20,000 metric tons of rice that were headed for the Irawaddy Delta area in an effort to make sure their supplies are stretched  enough for the rest of the country. Rice prices have dropped since the spike following the disaster in May, but they still stand at 20% higher than before.

Pray for those families in desperate need. Pray that rice supplies will last until the harvest. Pray that God will provide and that His name will be glorified in
the assistance that Food For the Hungry has given.

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