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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hope among the survivors in Myanmar

When we think about the death and destruction, it's enough to overwhelm the senses and the soul.

The magnitude of the continuing crisis is astonishing. Thankfully, our staff and volunteers in Myanmar were spared during the cyclone. But having said that, we feel somewhat uncomfortable with our thankfulness within the context of the enormous and ongoing suffering the survivors continue to experience.

We're always cautious about using numbers to describe a crisis like this but in this case, they are worth repeating simply because they bear witness to the magnitude of the crisis.

Right now, some three weeks after the disaster, there are 2.4 million people in urgent need of help. Estimates put the death toll at a staggering 78,000 people, one-third of whom are children.

Sadly, the death toll will most likely rise - possibly to more than 100,000 - given that there are still 58,000 people missing.

As the weeks pass, we become even more concerned about the surviving children, many of whom lost their parents in the cyclone.

Children are especially vulnerable in the aftermath of disasters like the cyclone, and our people in the field are telling us that an additional 30,000 children could die of soon unless more can be done right away.

Think of it... what could be more heartbreaking than surviving such a catstrophe only to become a victim a few short weeks later.

No better place for hope than in times of crisis!

When people lose hope, we have to help them find a way to hope again. We have to make sure that people can embrace the hope that comes through our actions to help them survive and eventually, rebuild what is left of their lives.

We began helping within 24 hours of the cyclone departing and we'll continue as long as it takes!

With each day that passes, we are able to extend our emergency assistance further into the countryside, moving beyond the 24 villages we are currently working in so that thousands more can get the medical care, medicines, clean water, food and shelter they so desperately need.

Help families today by giving to HOPE International Development Agency.

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