Archive for the international crisis Category

More Aid for Burma Information

Posted in health, international crisis with tags on Monday 12 May 2008 by amanda

Below is more information about groups recommended by Burma Project.

Cyclone Nargis Appeal: Organizations with Local

Networks in Burma

Avaaz.org, a global online movement with millions of members, is concerned that the junta may delay, divert, or misuse aid. They are partnering with the International Burmese Monks Organization and other local organizations to aid people directly through local networks. http://www.avaaz.org/en/

Community Development and Civic Empowerment Program (CDCEP) is a Thailand-based organization that will deliver funds (and possibly goods such as re-hydration Salts and water purifying tablets) to local community organizations in Burma. Contact: natta@chiangmai.ac.th

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) – Holland’s teams, which include over 1,200 Burmese working on the ground, have been distributing food and plastic sheeting, and have begun treating drinking water in Yangon. MSF has been able to assess the areas in the townships of Yangon (the country’s biggest city), and are in the process of assessing areas outside Yangoon that are suspected to have been harder hit. MSF provides medical consultation, builds latrines, and are providing medical treatment for people who have fled to monasteries. A cargo plane loaded with supplies is scheduled to depart 9 May with four additional planes standing by. http://www.msf.org/

Foundation for the People of Burma (FPB) is an organization whose mission is to provide humanitarian aid to Burmese people of all ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs. FPB works directly with local organizations inside Burma. They have been working in Burma since 1999. Since 7 May, they have been able to get food aid to Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and five relief camps in areas surrounding Rangoon. http://www.foundationburma.org/

International Burmese Monks Organization (IBMO), an organization of Burmese monks living outside of Burma, will send money directly to monastic networks inside the country, providing much-needed aid to scores of villagers who are seeking help in temples. www.burmesemonks.org

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has teams on the ground assessing damages in all five affected regions of Myanmar. IFRC lists its top relief priority as shelter. The IFRC is supporting the Myanmar Red Cross in their efforts to hand out relief supplies. The first plane carrying supplies from Kuala Lampur was able to land late in the evening on 8 May. http://donate.ifrc.org/

Mae Tao Clinic is an organization based in Thailand on the Burma border, which also works in Rangoon and the Irrawaddy areas. Mae Tao Clinic, together with the National Health and Education Committee, Burma Medical Association, and Back Pack Health Worker Team, are coordinating with a network of concerned Burmese individuals and organizations to determine the needs in disaster affected areas and to provide relief supplies. http://www.maetaoclinic.org/

Save the Children has begun to mobilize approximately 500 of their staff from 30 offices. Since 5 May, they have distributed several tons of food, kitchen equipment, plastic sheeting, rehydration salts, water purification tablets, and other supplies to over 50,000 children and families whose homes have been destroyed. Trucks loaded with supplies were dispatched on the morning of 9 May en route to Pathein. http://www.savethechildren.org/

Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), based in Thailand, provides relief to Burmese refugees in Thailand and addresses root causes of displacement in Eastern Burma. http://www.tbbc.org/donate/donate.htm

Thirst-Aid has two factories working overtime to manufacture point-of-use ceramic water filters. In-country health partners are working to set up safe water distribution centers to provide clean drinking water and re-hydration solutions for those in need. Donations to support the purchase of water purification tablets can be made to World Aid by writing checks with “cyclone relief” at the bottom, and sent to 2422 S. Ferdinand Street, Seattle, WA 98108. http://www.thirst-aid.org/

US Campaign for Burma is raising funds for intermediate relief. The funds will be used to help rebuild communities and homes. It will take a long time for the the people of Burma to rebuild their lives; these funds will go directly to Burmese-led organizations inside Burma. http://uscampaignforburma.org/cyclone-relief-donations

World Food Programme (WFP) has sent four aircraft loaded with critically needed supplies to augment stocks of WFP food in Burma. WFP has more than 800 metric tonnes of food-stocks in warehouses in Yangon, and will distribute these resources to areas in need, including the Ayeryarwaddy Division (the largest and hardest hit of the five major Divisions affected by the cyclone). http://www.wfp.org/english/?ModuleID=137&Key=2828

World Vision is distributing supplies including blankets, clothing, drinking water, rice, and fuel for mobile water pumps. Over 35 metric tonnes of rice and 20,000 liters of drinking water have already been delivered. The agency is working with authorities to explore the possibility of an airlift of emergency supplies into Burma from its global pre-positioning warehouses. http://www.wvi.org

****Individuals interested in directly supporting the people of Burma can also consider funding Burmese organizations based along Burma’s borders in Thailand , India, Bangladesh, and China.****

The following are sites with continuously updated information on the emergency situation in Burma:

Center of Excellency http://www.coe-dmha.org/myanmar.htm

Humanitarian Reform http://www.humanitarianreform.org/Default.aspx?tabid=614

International Red Cross http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/response/myanmar-nargis/

ReliefWeb http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc108?OpenForm&emid=TC-2008-000057-MMR&rc=3

Reuters Alert Net http://www.alertnet.org/db/cp/myanmar_burma.htm

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Aid to Burma – some ideas for donations

Posted in international crisis on Thursday 8 May 2008 by amanda

As some of you may know, although I have never personally volunteered in Burma or on the border, I have a lot of connections, both personal and professional, to the country. This cyclone disaster has started off as a horrible natural disaster, and has very quickly spun out into a horrific human disaster as well. Nearly a week after the cyclone, aid is really just starting to come into many parts of the country, with many other areas still completely stranded. (an excellent source of information on all things Burma is www.burmanet.org – they synthesize information from a huge number of sources and update daily)

However, the ability of organizations to gain access to the country is slowly gaining traction, and the most effective thing a westerner can really do at this point is donate money to an organization.

This, of course, begs the question, as always – WHICH organization will make good use of my funds? Where will it actually help people and not be wasted?

I have a few recommendations from friends of mine that used to or currently live in the area, and are intimately familiar with local and international organizations that do good work, and don’t waste money. Below is a few of the recommendations (as a side note, one of them is a Christian organization. There is a really excellent support network among churches in Burma. Whatever your opinions of the establishment of the Christian church, and possible proselytizing connected with aid, they do effective work, and unfortunately, there is not a well set up temple/monastery system that does this kind of work on the same effective level):


  • International Rescue Committee (https://secure.ga3.org/03/donatenow_myanmar): Is a leading organization for international disaster relief. I am always particularly impressed by their ability to cut administration costs and ensure that your donations are going to the meet the needs of the people. They have a special page set up to collect donations for Burma.
  • Tearfund (https://www.tearfund.org): A UK based christian development organization, Tearfund’s strength is using local churches to fight root causes of poverty. They have been working in Burma for several years, including in some of the districts hardest hit by the cyclone. The organizaiton particularly impresses me in how they combine the need to address spiritual and practical needs simultaneously. They also have a page set up specifically for the situation in Burma.
  • US Campaign for Burma (http://uscampaignforburma.org/) has a history of supporting the Burmese democracy movement and has strong contacts inside the country. They have set up a check off box on their standard donation page to collect support for the cyclone victims. Though they have less experience with disaster relief, they will have the flexibility and connections to provide support directly to people in great need.


  • CDCE Nargis Disaster Relief Fund

CDCE supports the bottom-up process of civil society development in Myanmar by offering capacity building trainings to community workers and local NGO professionals from across the country. Over the past two years, the program has developed a growing network of committed development workers and has established strong ties with local community organizations and NGOs. It is this community that CDCE will now closely work with in order to bring aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis.

At the moment, with many international aid organizations immobilized by the wait for visas, supporting the grassroots groups that are already on the ground is critical. CDCE will deliver funds (and possibly goods such as Oral Rehydration Salts and water purifying tablets) directly to the hands of local community organizations that are already providing relief in the affected areas. These organizations have been working in the affected regions for many years and know very well the current needs of these communities. With great attention given to transparency and accountability, CDCE will ensure that donations to the Fund will go to the most effective and responsible efforts.

CDCE is also connecting with its alumni in the country, over eighty people, to organize a coordinated response to the disaster. Alumni are already sharing information with others not in the affected regions, collecting donations and volunteering their time to help. CDCE has made plans to send program staff into Myanmar to oversee and expand this initiative.

How can you support the CDCE: Nargis Relief Fund?

At the present moment, CDCE is accepting only cash donations.

To donate,

    1. Transfer money to our special disaster relief bank account.
    Bank: Krung Thai Bank
    • Branch: Chiang Mai University
    Account Name: CDCE: Nargis Disaster Relief Fund
    Account Number: 456-0045-445
    Swift Code: KRTHTHBK
    Branch Phone Number: 053-223191
    1. Send a check made out to “CDCE: Nargis Disaster Relief Fund” to:
    • Community Development & Civic Empowerment Program
    • Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University
    • Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
    1. Bring cash or check in person to our office at Chiang Mai University. We are located in the International Building of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Our office room number is and we are on the second floor, at the end of the hallway, past the RCSD study room and Social Development Graduate Common Room. We are open from 9 am to 5 pm excluding holidays.


If you would like more information about CDCE and its relief efforts please contact us by email natta@chiangmai.ac.th or marisacharles@gmail.com or by phone at 053 – 226697 during the day and 083- 2062299 on evenings and weekends.