First MSF plane arrives in Myanmar
Three more planes carrying aid from Medecins Sans Frontieres are scheduled to land on Tuesday.13 May 2008
PARIS - A first plane carrying aid from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF - Doctors Without Borders) landed in cyclone-hit Myanmar on Monday as the relief organisation accused Yangon authorities of continuing to block efforts to help survivors.
The cargo plane landed in Yangon early Monday with 34 tonnes of medical and other supplies that were transferred to MSF's storage sites in the city, the organisation said in a statement.
Three other planes are en route and should arrive later Monday and Tuesday with 120 tonnes of aid, it added.
The Medecins du Monde (MDM - Doctors of the World) group said separately that it had obtained the green light from Myanmar authorities to send a second relief plane.
But MSF said that in some zones, it was facing "increasing constraints by the authorities".
It cited the southwest district of Bogaley, one of hardest hit by the cyclone that hit on 2 May, washing away entire villages and leaving 62,000 dead or missing, according to the government.
"The MSF team in Bogaley is being imposed increasing constraints by the authorities. As a result, the team is unable to provide as much assistance as they could to respond to the enormous needs in terms of food and medical care," MSF said.
Meanwhile, French Defence Minister Herve Morin said Monday that enough humanitarian aid for some 60,000 people for two weeks was being assembled in Chennai in eastern India.
A French navy ship, the Mistral, would carry the goods, including 400 tonnes of rice, to Myanmar once it was loaded, a statement from the defence ministry in Paris said.
Details of the delivery were still being discussed with Myanmar authorities and humanitarian groups, it added.
The United Nations said Monday that the relief operation was only running at 10 percent of the level needed to bring water, food and supplies to desperate survivors, and that just 20 percent of the food required was making its way in.
[AFP / Expatica]