U.N. Envoy Heads to Burma With Urgent Relief Message
Posted on May 18, 2008
More than two weeks have passed since Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, killing 78,000 people and leaving tens of thousands more unaccounted for. Now the U.N. is pushing Burma’s ruling junta to cooperate with international aid efforts, sending an envoy with a message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in hopes that a more personal approach will produce lifesaving results.
John Holmes will carry a letter from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Burma’s leader, Than Shwe, who has refused to answer Mr Ban’s calls.
Burma says some 78,000 people have died and 56,000 are missing since Cyclone Nargis hit the country on 2 May.
Burma has so far been refusing most offers of international aid.
However, a team of 50 Indian medical personnel has been given permission to fly into Burma, equipped with medical supplies.
Meanwhile, a UK-based charity says young children may already be dying of starvation.
Cyclone survivors line up to buy drinking water near Yangon on Sunday.