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Myanmar: PSI's Relief Efforts


Associated Press

by Julia Bainbridge

As news reports continue to come in on the difficulties in supplying aid to the people of Myanmar in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, we're happy to report that at least one organization, Population Services International (PSI), Conde Nast Traveler's partner in the Five & Alive Fund, has managed to make a difference.

So far PSI's 600 in-country staffers have been able to:

* Help deliver a water purification solution capable of treating enough water for 998,000 people for one month.
* Work with its network of Sun Quality Health doctors to deliver medicine and health services to those desperately seeking medical attention.

But the work has just begun. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that the number of deaths caused by Cyclone Nargis may be as high as 200,000. With millions still homeless and without access to food, clean water, and medicine, the number could skyrocket.

In the coming months, PSI will require an additional $1 million to address the longer-term health implications of Cyclone Nargis. If you're looking to help, Conde Nast Traveler cannot more strongly recommend that you consider PSI as a possible recipient of your donation.

Stay tuned to the Daily Traveler later in the week, when we talk to PSI Myanmar's Country Representative (who is currently in Washington, D.C.) about ways to help the organization's efforts.

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Earthquake Update: Travel in China

by Tom Loftus

With parts of Sichuan Province in southwest China in ruins following a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that is already blamed for 19,500 confirmed deaths, travel is discouraged. But for those who have no choice, travel service Abercrombie & Kent has this report.

* The government has ordered that the military make it a top priority to open the roads for aid. Airlines are also ferrying in rescue personnel to help.

* Chongqing Airport is open and most of the flights are expected to arrive/depart as per original schedule.

* Yichang Airport is open and flights are on time. No damage has been found on the dam.

* Xian Airport is open and flights are on time. All tour sites are also open.

* Chengdu Airport was closed right after the quake, but it has reopened.  Because Chengdu has become the major destination for aid flowing into the area we recommend that travelers defer travel there until June.

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Myanmar: An Update and a Call for Help

Myanmar
The Associated Press

by Tom Loftus

Leading the news on the cyclone that devastated Myanmar last week has been the challenge in delivering aid to the victims. We are fortunate to have a dispatch from Simon Laxton of luxury travel service Abercrombie & Kent, who was in Myanmar when the cyclone hit. Still there now, he shares below first-hand experiences from the Delta region and discusses the actions A&K is taking to provide direct aid.

Want to help?  Abercrombie & Kent is coordinating fundraising efforts through the Friends of Conservation, which will donate 100 percent of all funds collected directly to purchasing and distributing life-saving supplies to those most in need.  

On the evening the cyclone struck we had just concluded a two-day meeting in Yangon, hosted by A&K Myanmar. There was little or no warning of the impending weather other than news that the airport had closed. The cyclone raced across the Delta area and into Yangon early in the morning of 03 May. . . . Huge trees were uprooted and thrown into buildings, homes, and across roads. Power lines were severely damaged throughout the region.

The devastation in the Delta has been truly beyond comprehension and more or less every home has been severely damaged or completely destroyed. . . .[T]he amount of water still lying on the ground is enormous and of course potentially the source of water-borne disease. Families have been split up and young children left without their parents. Many are injured . . . caused by people holding onto trees and any other protection they could find as the storm water surged through and debris in the water bruising and cutting them.

Continue reading "Myanmar: An Update and a Call for Help" »

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Do-Gooders 'Round the Globe

by Julia Bainbridge

Last Friday I attended the mid-year meeting for the Clinton Global Initiative, a nonpartisan project of the William J. Clinton Foundation. In just two hours, President Clinton brought members up to speed with CGI goings-on and discussed outstanding so-called Commitments to Action. (To be a member, you must make one of these pledges, which in turn must be a new, specific, and measurable way to address global challenges. Think health, climate change, education, poverty alleviation.) Politics aside, people had a lot to say.

Continue reading "Do-Gooders 'Round the Globe" »

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