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Responding to Cyclone Giri

Myanmar, November 15, 2010

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Mercy Corps has dispatched an assessment team to Myanmar's western coast in the wake of a cyclone that has left 71,000 people homeless, according to UN estimates.

Cyclone Giri struck in late October, destroying tens of thousands of acres of rice paddies, aquaculture ponds and other farmland -- just before the region's only harvest season.

UNICEF reports that an estimated 40,000 people are "in urgent need of clean water, with ponds and wells in rural communities contaminated by seawater and debris." About 260,000 people in Myanmar were affected by the cyclone, according to the UN.

Members of Mercy Corps' assessment team will meet with local partners, officials and other humanitarian groups to determine how we can best help meet the immediate needs of survivors.

Mercy Corps has worked in Myanmar since 2008 to support community recovery, increase economic opportunity and food security, improve public health and strengthen civil society networks.