NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA Appeals For Funds To Aid In Burmese Cyclone Disaster
LOS ANGELES (May 8, 2008)–Los Angeles based Operation USA has deployed staff already stationed in Asia to assess the needs of what is now an estimated 7 million people affected by the recent cyclone which destroyed or devastated wide swaths of Burma (aka Myanmar), especially in or near Yangon (formerly the capital Rangoon) and throughout its vast rice growing delta. The cyclone generated winds of over 120 miles per hour and struck communities living largely in housing made of bamboo and unable to withstand winds of such magnitude.
Temporary shelter, water purification chemicals, food, tools and medical supplies are among the most urgently needed items. Funds collected will be spent on these and other priority supplies.
Richard Walden, President of Operation USA, expressed a widely held concern among relief groups that the current military government of Burma has not readily facilitated foreign relief agencies’ access to impact zones, especially those from the U.S. “We expected that this unusually tragic event would have softened the Burmese Government’s attitude towards international relief and that they would have allowed relief agencies full access to victims of this tragedy. So far, hundreds of seasoned relief workers are stranded in neighboring countries awaiting visas to enter Myanmar and begin saving lives”
Operation USA has worked with Burmese refugees for over 15 years along the Burma-Thailand border through local partners.
The Lincy Foundation of Los Angeles provided initial disaster funds to Operation USA for just such contingencies requiring an immediate response. The Audrey & Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation also contributed substantial funding for this effort. A Myanmar cyclone fund raising t-shirt was created by Von Dutch (www.vondutch.com) to raise funds as well.
HOW TO HELP: To assist Operation USA in delivering aid to Myanmar, donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at 800.678.7255 or, by check to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar is spent directly on relief programs.
Corporate contributions of essential products in bulk and with at least one year’s remaining shelf life can be arranged by calling Neil Frame, Operation USA, 310.838.3455.