More than a month after Cyclone Nargis, Burma's ruling military junta (the SPDC) has allowed only a few international aid agencies to distribute relief items to survivors. Moreover, because the SPDC is confiscating and selling humanitarian supplies, it is estimated that only 25% of international aid is actually reaching those who need it the most.
While the operations of most large aid agencies are still grounded at the borders, the networks of Burmese women supported by MADRE have been mobilized since day one of the crisis, offering relief on a person-to-person basis.
MADRE is partnering with the Women's League of Burma, the Shan Women Action Network, and the Migrants Assistance Programme. Our partners tell us of a ruined harvest, skyrocketing food prices, forced evacuations of public sanctuaries, bodies in the streets, and hordes of traumatized children roaming unaccompanied from village to village.
The women know that orphans are easy prey for human traffickers. One of MADRE's primary objectives, therefore, is sheltering these children until safe and legitimate adoption systems can be established.
Women working with MADRE found an orphaned toddler several days after the cyclone in a remote village along the Burmese-Thai border. He was all alone, hungry and traumatized; the women didn't even know his name. But thanks to them, he is now being cared for and loved. Thanks to them, this child will not become a statistic. Today, he is being nursed back to health as MADRE's partners work day and night to locate his family.
With your support, we can protect many more children in similar situations. Please continue to give to MADRE in support of women and families in cyclone-ravaged Burma.