Science, Tech & Environment

Foreign aid workers arrive in Burma

I flew over the Irrawaddy and it was startling to see literally one village after another after another that had been 100% destroyed, there was nothing left, no people living there. after the Indian Ocean tsunami, what I saw there I never thought I'd see again in my life, but that's what we are seeing today. I went to five different places in the Delta on a government helicopter with some other aid workers. We went to two towns where the aid agencies are setting up their bases and then two other harder hit towns. People there were in very bad conditions. (The people there had had no assistance?) Well this was not a staged tour and immediately when we got there people asked for food and shelter, but there were some World Food Program biscuits in the hands of children. So some aid is trickling in. (Is the only way in by helicopter?) Helicopter or boat, and the monsoon season is just starting. (What was the reaction of this government minister traveling with you?) He made clear that this was a working visit, he wanted to know the real requirements of the people and then he would ask what we could do to solve those problems. We had a good visit and he on the spot authorized additional visits from the WFP. (Were people angry at the government official or were people just desperate for help?) Primarily desperate for help. These people need food and shelter, and they clearly need more assistance and are looking for us to deliver.

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