The United Nations and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) have estimated that it will cost about US$1 billion in total to rebuild Myanmar after the cyclone. -- PHOTO: AP
GENEVA (ST)- AROUND 700,000 children are in need of long-term aid in Myanmar due to the devastating effects of May's Cyclone Nargis, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.
'While we have observed a gradual improvement in the situation for children, and have avoided the emergence of major epidemics, we must maintain our efforts,' added UNICEF's Myanmar representative Ramesh Shrestha in a statement.
The agency has launched an appeal for just over US$90 million (S$122.5 million) it needs for operations through to April 2009. To date, it has raised less than half of that sum.
The United Nations and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) have estimated that it will cost about US$1 billion in total to rebuild Myanmar after the cyclone left more than 138,000 people dead or missing and over two million survivors in need of aid.
In the crucial days after the cyclone hit, Myanmar's notoriously secretive leadership blocked access for foreign relief workers, raising fears thousands more people would die after being denied life-saving aid.
The junta only eased its stance after a personal visit by UN chief Ban Ki Moon, but aid groups say access to the worst-hit southern delta remains patchy. -- AFP