Burma is facing an enormous humanitarian crisis that will continue. While
millions of people are suffering as a result of Cyclone Nargis, the military
junta has concentrated on legalizing military rule in Burma forever through a
sham constitutional referendum.
On Friday May 2, 2008 a colossal cyclone devastated major parts of Burma,
including damaging the country’s largest city Rangoon the Irrawaddy Delta
region, Bago (Pegu) Division, Karen State and Mon State. The death toll is
reported to have reached over 200,000, and further millions of people are at
risk of epidemics and starvation, parts of the country are still underwater,
hundreds of thousands of people are camped in the open without food or clean
water. Victims are in desperate need of rescue from this unfolding
tragedy—without proper and unrestricted aid, many more lives will be lost.
Survivors and aid workers emerge from Burma's devastated Irrawaddy delta with
stories of families wiped out, bodies floating in rice paddies and starving and
mentally-disturbed victims begging by the roadside. With their homes washed away
and large tracts of land under water, some 2 million survivors — mostly poor
rice farmers — are living in abject misery, facing disease and starvation.
Thousands are seeking refuge in Buddhist Monasteries, Hindu temples, and schools
but there are often threats by soldiers that refugees will be forced to move
back to their villages.
The military regime has placed disastrous restrictions on humanitarian and local
volunteer organizations operating inside Burma, forcing some to stop their
operations. Delivery of assistance must be immediate and unfettered by the
The International Burmese Monks Organization (IBMO) is deeply concerned about
the growing humanitarian crisis and continues to relay this urgent message to
world leaders and the international community to help save lives and rebuild
In many of the worst hit areas, the monasteries are the only source of shelter
and food for Burma's poorest people. Burmese monks have been trying to deliver
aid and protection since the storm struck. As monks we have the moral
responsibility to help alleviate the dreadful living conditions that the
survivors are facing. We ask for your help in bringing help to where it is
urgently needed the most.