Skip to main content

Burma: Storms

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government has taken to encourage the Burmese government to respond rapidly to the humanitarian situation caused by Cyclone Nargis. (205767)

The UK has pledged £5 million for emergency relief and we are willing to do more for the victims of Cyclone Nargis. The obstacles being placed in the way of the international donor effort by the Burmese regime are totally unacceptable.

The Government have pressed the Burmese regime to allow international assistance to be delivered to those in urgent need. We have, as chair of the UN Security Council, called for action by Burma to work with the UN and international donors and expedite access. We are pressing regional powers such as Thailand, China, India and Indonesia at senior political and official level to use their influence on Burma to accept unfettered international assistance. We have said that we would use whatever delivery mechanism they are able to negotiate with the Burmese and channel our relief effort through them. My noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown, is visiting key Asian capitals to mobilise support for a significant increase in the amount of assistance reaching Burma and the delta region in particular.