7 May 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11552

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MYANMAR GOVERNMENT TO EASE ARRIVAL OF AID WORKERS


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General is very concerned about the continuing tragedy in Myanmar, where the Government has confirmed that over 22,000 people have died and more than 41,000 people are missing following Cyclone Nargis on 2-3 May.  Initial estimates suggest that up to 1 million people are currently homeless and many more require assistance.


The Secretary-General believes that this is a critical moment for the people of Myanmar and emphasizes the importance of providing as much assistance as possible in the vital first few days following the cyclone’s impact.  He welcomes today’s news that some United Nations aid officials will be allowed into Myanmar tomorrow, which will assist assessment and prioritization efforts.


Given the magnitude of this disaster, the Secretary-General urges the Government of Myanmar to respond to the outpouring of international support and solidarity by facilitating the arrival of aid workers and the clearance of relief supplies in every way possible.  This can significantly aid the Government in responding to this tragedy.


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For information media • not an official record