Across Myanmar, the effects of the 2008 cyclone Nargis are still being felt by many of the 13 million people who were affected. A notable feature of the recovery has been the way cyclone survivors assist each other. “Yes, in the community, we help each other” said Ban Yi, one of the leaders in her village, and the sole survivor in her immediate family. She explains: “I walked from dawn until afternoon to reach the village and when I arrived, I didn’t recognise anything.” She went directly to one of few houses still standing belonging to Uuhn Nyunt, the leader of the community. “We shared soaked rice that we had dried after the storm” recounts Mr. Nyunt.
This is a story not uncommon among the storm-hit communities in the Delta. Some communities received no help for 10 days so they banded together to support, feed and care for one another. With emergency funding from the EU and other donors, the UN reached almost a million people in the Delta and Yangon areas with food. In 2009, the EU continued supporting UN food assistance to marginal farmers and landless people, benefitting 450,000 people. In addition, 40,000 farmer families (155,200 people) secured livelihood assets through food-for-work. 74,100 children aged under five and pregnant and breastfeeding women received supplementary feeding to prevent nutritional deterioration.