Another Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cargo plane, this one carrying 40 tonnes of relief supplies, landed today in Yangon. It is the third MSF cargo plane that has been authorized to bring relief material to Myanmar. In total, 110 tonnes of MSF supplies has already arrived in Yangon. Another cargo plane with 45 tonnes of material will leave Dubai tonight and on Friday, a fifth plane will leave Djakarta, Indonesia. The relief materials from today’s cargo plane will be sent by truck to the disaster areas on Wednesday. However, the needs of the affected population assessed in the Irrawaddy delta area by MSF workers are so vast that many more supplies will have to come into the country to deal with the crisis. MSF now has over 250 staff in the delta and between 10 and 20 new staff are arriving daily. In Twantey, Pathein, Haingyi, Laputta and Pyapong, 22 teams are now doing consultations, distributing food, plastic sheeting and other relief items, purifying water and cleaning up sites where people have sought refuge. With the newly arrived cargo shipments, MSF now has a lot of water sanitation material available, but there is a need for more water sanitation experts, particularly for the larger equipment, including a 12,000 litre water purification unit, which MSF is planning to send. This expertise is particularly difficult to find locally.  In Bogaley and Kungyangon, MSF’s work is still restricted by increasing constraints of the authorities. In some areas, MSF international staff are being blocked at check-points, and only Burmese staff are allowed to go through. In Bogaley, the MSF teams have not been permitted to move outside the periphery of the town and are unable to provide as much assistance as they could to respond to the enormous needs in terms of food and medical care. Activities in the Delta area Teams continue to be sent down to the Delta region. By the end of today, MSF will have sent more than 160 staff and have more than 20 medical teams working on relief efforts.

Teams are now located in Haingyi, Pyinsalu, Tongwa, Laputta, Thingangon, Chaungzu, Twantey, Bogaley and Pyapon. The teams have also been getting out to other villages near these towns. There are presently 54 internally displaced people (IDP) camps in Laputta, each with up to 5,000 people. According to reports from our staff, the operations are running well in Haingyi and the authorities are co-operating with MSF. There are several doctors and many medical staff on the ground now (about half of all staff are medical). However, the most pressing need is for co-ordination staff and water sanitation engineers who are able to install the water sanitation equipment. In Yangon Over 23 tonnes of food have been distributed to almost 1,500 families — a total of 10,534 people. This includes over 15,000 kilograms of rice and almost 8,000 cans of fish.

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