Myanmar government flounders in flood crisis

Myanmar government flounders in flood crisis
PHOTO: AFP

United Nations agencies have warned the death toll, now at 27, from flooding and landslides in Myanmar, is likely to rise as the scale of the disaster in remote areas finally begins to emerge after almost a month of severe weather.

With a general election just three months away, the government's slow response to the floods is already having a political impact, as seen in the escalating criticism of official relief efforts and charges that mismanagement of water resources has exacerbated the disaster.

President Thein Sein declared four regions disaster areas on July 31, with estimates that more than 156,000 people across the country have been affected. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned Aug. 1 that many isolated parts of the country have yet to be assessed, and that the number of people affected is likely to be "significantly higher" than official estimates so far. Save the Children, an international relief agency, said at least 60,000 children are suffering

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