Cyclone Nargis has killed at least 78,000 people and 56,000 remain missing in the aftermath of the storm that shook Myanmar to its core. The United Nations reports that up to 2.5 million survivors of the cyclone face hunger, homelessness and potential outbreaks of deadly diseases. Myanmar claims losses from the disaster exceeding $10 billion, a huge setback for one of the world’s poorest countries. Unfortunately, a suspicious junta government in Myanmar continues to block relief efforts, especially efforts utilizing military equipment from the west, citing a possible takeover of its oil reserves by the United States.
The travel community around the world continues to provide support to the relief effort.
Abercrombie & Kent Myanmar contributed to early relief efforts, since they were able to mobilize teams on the ground. A&K is reporting that their aid efforts have moved into the second stage; while A&K continues to send food and medicine to the delta region, they are also starting to plan for the redevelopment of housing, farmland and clearing of the waterways to create easier access to villages. Aid is still needed, and those interested in contributing can visit www.friendsofconservation.org/Donate.htm.