UN appeals for funds to meet health needs in cyclone-battered Myanmar
Dozens of heads of diplomatic missions, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) converged for a meeting in the capital Yangon yesterday, followed by a field visit to health facilities today.
“The past seven months’ experience of responding to the health needs of the cyclone-affected population has shown that effective aid delivery can be achieved,” said Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. “At the same time, the cyclone has resulted in a significantly increased level of general vulnerability amongst the population.”
He cautioned that progress could unravel unless coordinated efforts are made to support the country’s health system.
Two-thirds of the funds for the UN’s $451 million appeal have been met, but agriculture and early recovery sectors are lagging with only 25 per cent and 39 per cent of needs met so far.
Despite fears, a ‘second wave of death’ has been averted, with nearly 750,000 people having been treated in the Ayeyarwady Delta by health providers. The disease surveillance reporting system – set up with Myanmar’s Health Ministry – has helped to prevent disease outbreaks and malnutrition through vaccination campaigns and other activities.