WASHINGTON, May 20, 2008 —The World Bank is actively supporting efforts by ASEAN and the United Nations to get access for humanitarian activities and to manage the complicated task of coordinating international efforts.
The World Bank has not received any request for financial support from the Government of Myanmar. Right now, the issue is getting access to the country for the international partners who stand ready to assist the people devastated by the cyclone and a structured process to coordinate international efforts through the ASEAN-led Coalition of Mercy and the ASEAN-UN meeting of donors in Yangon on 25 May. Much of the available relief has not yet entered the country and has not yet reached the victims.
The World Bank’s experts in damage assessment and disaster recovery are poised to support the ASEAN-led effort to engage with the Government of Myanmar on accessing the country to assess the extent of the long-term damage and put together a program for reconstruction and recovery which is transparent, well-targeted and focused on unlocking Myanmar's potential for economic recovery and improving the lives of its people.
In the weeks and months ahead, the focus will shift from emergency relief to reconstruction. This is an area in which the World Bank has considerable experience. We expect to be engaged in that phase, as we were in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Aceh and other parts of Asia.
We offer our sympathy to the families affected by this terrible tragedy and our full support to ASEAN in its effort to help the country recover.