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Limited supplies hampering response and recovery efforts in Myanmar

| 05.08.2008 | 09:28:506214 |
May 08 '08: Five days after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar, international aid organizations are trying to reach those most affected by the storm while a lack of fuel supplies and local resources is creating another potential problem as the dead begin to pile up, CNN reported. Shortages of relief supplies and resources continues to grow while the military junta in control of the government is restricting access to parts of the country by foreigners, the cable news channel reported.
"The international community is growing increasingly frustrated with the junta's lack of progress in granting visas for relief workers and giving clearance for flights to land," CNN reported. "They are concerned the lack of medical supplies and clean food and water threatens to increase the already staggering death toll."

Meanwhile, the BBC reported that the United Nations has sent its first relief flight to the country but that the growing humanitarian crisis is posing challenges. According to correspondents from the British news agency, the survivors of the cyclone "are living among thousands of corpses, polluting their environment, and the risk of disease is taking hold is getting worse by the day. ... Normally after a natural disaster ... roads are choked by the relief effort, but those into the Irrawaddy delta are empty."

Relief officials told CNN that currently China and the United States are urging the Myanmari government to open its borders to allow first responder assessment teams access to the country so that they can allocate resources instead of "flooding" the capital of Yangon with supplies that might never reach their target destination. Officials have said the "main hurdle" is getting to the hardest hit area - the Irrawaddy Delta. One US officials said the current death toll of over 22,000 people could skyrocket to 100,000 once teams are able to reach the hardest hit areas.

National Blueprint Tags: Response & Containment, Transportation & Logistics.