Flood aid begins arriving from India, China (Democratic Voice of Burma)

Aid workers and air force crews from China and India have been the first foreigners to arrive in Burma in response to a call for international assistance for flood victims.

The Indian air force sent two cargo planes carrying sacks of rice, medicine and other relief supplies.

One C-17 aircraft arrived on Thursday evening at Mandalay’s Tadah-U airport, where it unloaded 50 tons of humanitarian aid, including 45 tons of rice, 300 kilogrammes of dried noodles, 300 kg of medicine, and other materials.

An Indian C-130 cargo plane carried donations of rice, dried noodles and medicine to flood-ravaged Kale [Kalay] airport in Sagaing Division, Burma’s Ministry of Information confirmed.

Indian Consul-General to Mandalay Dr. N. Nand Kumar told Burmese media that his country’s donation was an act of friendship and goodwill, and that they will send more aid supplies to Kale and Sittwe, Arakan State, in the coming days.

In the northeast of Burma on Thursday, a Chinese convoy of 14 trucks crossed from Yunnan Province at the Muse border in Shan State, carrying a total of 100 tons of rice, 1,000 rain-proof shelters, 500 packets of milk power, and 10,000 packets of dried noodles.

The European Union (EU), Britain, USA and Cambodia also pledged aid to Burmese flood victims.

The EU announced on Thursday a €1 million (US$ 1.08m) package for rehabilitation programmes in the devastated regions across Burma.

Britain also said they would provide Pound 500,000 pounds (US$780,000). The UK’s Department for International Development had already provided nutritional biscuits to more than 48,000 people through local aid workers on the ground, as well as sanitation and water purification materials for 20,000 people.

Similarly, the US embassy in Rangoon on 6 August announced that the USA will donate $600,000 through USAID.

Other foreign donors include: Australia (AUS$2 million); Norway (US$1.2 million); Singapore (US$100,000); Cambodia (US$100,000); and Thailand (US$150,000). Malaysian oil and gas investor PETRONAS presented US$150,000.

Yesterday, Burma’s iconic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made a video statement aimed at the international community, requesting help for the flood victims in Burma.