06/12/2008, 00.00
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ACN: more than 100,000 euros for Nargis victims in Myanmar

One month after the disaster, the organisation "Aid to the Church in Need" collects and sends 110,000 euros to the dioceses of Yangon and Pathein. The emergency continues, and many Karen villages have not received any aid, except from Catholic sources.

Rome (AsiaNews) - "Aid to the Church in Need" (ACN) has collected more than 100,000 euros for victims of the cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, where in many areas Catholic groups are the only ones bringing support to the population.  The amount of the donations was released by the organisation itself, in a press release.  According to the latest information from the Burmese Church, ACN has provided a further 80,000 euros - earmarked for the archdiocese of Yangon and for the diocese of Pathein - so that work may proceed to bring churches and basic religious structures back into use.  With this contribution, the total amount of aid sent by ACN the former Burma amounts to 110,000 euros.

The archbishop of Yangon, Charles Bo, explains that is not yet possible to make a thorough evaluation of the situation, because some areas are still inaccessible.  "Given the enormous extent the damage, these sums are only the beginning of even more substantial aid ", says Pierre-Marie Morel, secretary general of ACN.  As soon as possible, the organisation says, it will act to repair damaged churches and convents, which, one month after the disaster, have become the only form of refuge available for thousands of displaced people.

In the territory of the diocese of Pathein - located in the delta of the Irrawaddy river, one of the most devastated regions - one unusual situation is that of the villages populated by Karen ethnics, most of whom are Christians.  "In fact, these areas have been excluded from government aid", a local source tells ACN. In Aima, in particular, a diocesan priest, a religious, and three sisters have welcomed the people in the local parish center, and one refugee camp depends entirely on aid from the diocese.

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