Last May 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit Burma leaving around 140,000 dead or missing and some 800,000 homeless. Devex News reported that the UK government is the biggest single donor to the post-cyclone relief efforts. To date, it has committed about GBP45 million (US$60 million) in aid which has benefited more than one million people in the Southeast Asian country.
Aside from support to relief and recovery, the Department for International Development has earmarked another GBP45 million (US$60 million) for its 2008-2011 bilateral assistance to Burma. An agency official in Rangoon tells the Early Intelligence team that the cyclone interrupted country programming in 2008, but it will likely produce a new country plan in 2009. Priorities in health, education and food security will remain broadly the same, says the representative.
DFID Burma works with the international development community to address humanitarian needs; particularly in health, education and livelihood; help build foundations for a transition to a democratic society and for long-term poverty reduction; and contribute to scaling up international aid efforts.