International aid arrives in Burma

The World

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon issued a statement to that effect today: the statement says Burma needs to stop thinking politically and start thinking about the immediate needs of its people. The Sec General welcomed the news that a small group of UN officials will be allowed in to assess the needs of the survivors but he conceded that the relief effort has been slowed by the government’s unwillingness to grant aid visas to aid workers amassing outside the country. He refused to speculate on how many more people he thinks will die as a result of these slowdowns; the official death count for now stands at just over 22,000. This UN analyst says he suspects that casualty figure will rise substantially. Those most in need of goods live in Burma’s Delta, which is home to 3.5 million people or 15% of Burma’s population. This analyst says the entire Delta region is under water. Hungry crowds stormed the few shops that were able to open today and there was some violence. Others report that stranded residents are drinking coconut water because of a lack of clean drinking water.

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