Cyclone Nargis: Disaster Response in Myanmar

In May of 2008 Cyclone Nargis, a category 4 cyclone, hit the Irrawaddy delta region of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The devastating cyclone impacted over 2 million people and took the lives of an estimated 85,000, with an additional 54,000 still reported missing.

In response, Operation USA provided a grant to Emergency Assistance Team Burma to procure medical supplies for those populations either not being reached by other humanitarian aid or where the aid offered was not enough for these essentials. Additionally, monies were used to meet the needs of affected communities to help rebuild their livelihoods.

The severe restrictions placed on all “outside” aid agencies by the Myanmar government brought into sharp focus the benefits of maintaining local partnerships with in-country aid agencies. Operation USA maintains a strong relationship with several local Thai and Burmese NGO agencies that allowed us to circumvent the restrictions and gain direct access to restricted areas, which helped facilitate the delivery of necessary aid.