Friday, 9 May 2008

Burmese Junta impounds UN food aid

In a move destined to win no friends the Burmese Junta has impounded the first shipment of aid which has been delivered to the devastated country from the World Food Programme (WFP). The WFP has announced that it has no option other than to suspend further shipments until the situation can be sorted. It is feared that up to 100 000 people may have died and up to 1 500 000 may have been affected by last week's Cyclone Nargis.

The UK Government has pledged $10 million in aid whilst the UN has matched the UK figures, the USA a miserly $3 million, Japan $10 Million, France $3 million and Australia $2.8 million.

WFP official Paul Risley commented:
"Three flights were scheduled for Saturday but now we have no choice but to suspend food aid until the food in warehouse is released for WFP to distribute it. It is sitting in a warehouse, it is not in trucks heading to Irrawaddy Delta where it is critically needed."

Another unidentified aid worker suggested that the Junta was "Murdering their own people by letting them die."

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