UN Hopes to Aid Myanmar Cyclone Victims
(Ebru News/AP) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he's heading to Myanmar hoping to meet the country's military leaders to press for speedy relief for cyclone victims. Ban told reporters before heading to the airport on Tuesday that "this is a critical moment for Myanmar."
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General:
"We have functioning relief program in place, but so far have been able to reach only about 25 percent of Myanmar's people in need.
Ban said he is confident that aid can be scaled up quickly and he welcomed the government's "recent flexibility" in allowing Asian relief workers under the auspices of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to begin distributing international aid supplies.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was at the UN and said that some relief is getting through in Myanmar.
David Miliband, Foreign Secretary, United Kingdom:
"..., but there remain many tens of thousands of people who are not yet been being given the help that they need. I've met this morning with the Secretary-General of the UN and I very much welcome the personal leadership that he's now giving to this issue."
Meanwhile, John Holmes, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, is in Myanmar to persuade its government to allow in more international assistance
The junta appears to slowly relenting to foreign pressure to let in more outside help, but most foreign aid workers were still banned from the storm-devastated area and the U.N. said only a fraction of the survivors had received some form of international assistance.
Myanmar on Tuesday began three days of mourning for the 134-thousand dead and missing from the earthquake .
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