UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is en route to Myanmar today, but already his presence in the region seems to have had an affect:
“We have received government permission to operate nine WFP (World Food Program) helicopters, which will allow us to reach areas that have so far been largely inaccessible,” Ban told reporters in New York on Tuesday before departing for Southeast Asia. His announcement was not immediately confirmed by officials in Myanmar.
“I believe further similar moves will follow, including expediting the visas of (foreign) relief workers seeking to enter the country,” Ban said, warning that relief efforts to save survivors of the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis had reached a “critical moment.”
“We have a functioning relief program in place but so far have been able to reach only 25 percent of Myanmar’s people in need,” he said.
Progress can’t come too soon, as cyclone victims, desperate for food, beg by the side of the road: