Myanmar takes care of cyclone orphans, bans adoption 2008-06-11 16:08:44   Print

    YANGON, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar will not allow adoption of orphans left by a recent cyclone storm by any organizations or any individuals, local weekly 7-Day News quoted the Department of Social Welfare as saying Wednesday.

    Instead, the survived orphans will be jointly taken care by the government, domestic non-governmental organizations and resident United Nations organizations, social welfare official U Aung Tun Hlaing, who is the acting Director-General, told the 7-Day News.

    The government will also help find the orphans' survived relatives and provide education for them up to university or institute level depending on the orphan's wisdom and skill, the official said.

    While accommodating the orphans in cyclone-lesser-hit Maubin and Myaungmya in Ayeyawaddy division, the government is also building two orphanages in cyclone-hard-hit Phyapon and Laputta in the same division to each house 300 orphans, the report said, adding that so far there has been 130 cyclone-survived children officially registered as orphans out of an initially-estimated number of over 500.

    A fortnight after the cyclone storm Nargis swept Myanmar, the country's top leader Senior-General Than Shwe called for setting up orphanages for children whose parents were killed in the storm as a special program of the relief work.

    Meanwhile, Myanmar has given polio vaccination to 540 cyclone-survived children under five years of age in relief camps in Laputta with 720 others ranging from 9 months to 10 years of age also given measles vaccination.

    According to the United Nations Children's Fund, of the 2.4 million people affected by the cyclone storm Nargis, 960,000 or 40percent were estimated to be children.

    Meanwhile, over a dozen foreign medics have also been rendering medical aid services in different cyclone-hit regions since mid-May.

    Myanmar announced that the first phase of the country's post-disaster restoration work -- rescue and relief, has finished up to a certain extent and it has now entered into a second phase of resettlement and reconstruction.

    Deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit five divisions and states -- Ayeyawaddy, Yangon, Bago, Mon and Kayin on May 2 and 3, of which Ayeyawaddy and Yangon inflicted the heaviest casualties and massive infrastructural damage.

    Myanmar estimated the damages and losses caused by the storm at10.67 billion U.S. dollars with 5.5 million people affected.

    The storm has killed 77,738 people and left 55,917 missing and 19,359 injured according to official released death toll.

Editor: Bi Mingin
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