The US says Myanmar’s government has granted landing permission for two more flights carring aid for the survivors of Cyclone Nargis. But officials say distribution of vital supplies to those facing hunger and disease in the devastated Irrawaddy Delta remains restricted. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Britain will pressure the UN Security Council for action: “We now estimate that two million people face famine or disease as a result of the lack of co-operation by the Burmese authorities. We are doing everything we can to make aid and assistance available. It is now for the Burmese authorities to respond to what everyone is saying all over the world. The eyes of the world are now upon Burma.”
The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières is one of the few to get aid through, by using the local network of its long-running HIV project. “The problem is, we are all facing restrictions with international staff, so with a few exceptions the government is insisting we run operations with national staff,” said spokesman Joe Belliveau.
The World Food Programme estimates only 20 percent of the supplies needed are being distributed. The official death toll has been put at almost 30,000 but aid workers fear 1.5 million could die if more help does not come.