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Wednesday May 7, 2008

Mercy team off to Yangon to evaluate cyclone crisis

PETALING JAYA: A four-member relief team will be sent by Mercy Malaysia to Yangon to evaluate the situation in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

In a press statement yesterday, the non-governmental organisation said the team would be led by executive committee member Dr Heng Aik Cheng.

The other team members are deputy head of Relief Operations Rossimah Mohamed, programme officer Hafidzi Ahmad Bunian and communications and fundraising head Shamini Darshni.

The team hopes to leave within the next few days.

Dr Heng said in the statement that the situation in Myanmar was very serious and foresaw that the number of victims would continue to rise.

“We hope to be there as soon as possible to provide great need for shelter, water sanitation and emergency medical treatment. These are the important things that can save lives,” he said.

At press time, Mercy Malaysia was coming up with a list of essential pharmaceutical drugs.

Once there, the team will assess the type of immediate aid required.

“For a start, the team will send water purification sachets, medicine, tarpaulins and plastic sheets for temporary shelter,” the statement added.

It said Mercy Malaysia would discuss the situation and course of action with government authorities, and its local and international non-governmental counterparts.

A posting on Mercy Malaysia’s website said it had allocated an initial RM150,000 for aid response in Myanmar.

It also issued a public appeal for funds via its website, www.mercy.org.

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