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Aid Begins to Trickle Into Myanmar but Recovery Is Slow

The first relief shipments arrived in Myanmar Thursday after resistance from the country's reclusive military government to foreign assistance. Shari Villarosa, the top U.S. diplomat in Rangoon, and UNICEF's Richard Bridle discuss the aid response for the tens of thousands left homeless by the cyclone.

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    I spoke earlier today with Shari Villarosa, the top U.S. diplomat in Rangoon. Ms. Shari Villarosa, can you give us an update? In the last 24 hours, has the situation improved? Is food and water getting out?

    SHARI VILLAROSA, Top U.S. Diplomat in Myanmar: There is some recovery efforts going on. There is some aid coming in and getting distributed, but still not in large quantities.

    And, late this afternoon, we got the bad news that the foreign ministry is going to turn down not only our request to send in disaster assistance experts, but that of all the aid agencies that were hoping to send them in.


    Did they give you any explanation for that decision?




    Are they letting similar offers of aid go through from, for instance, regional neighbors?


    Not really.

    What we — they — they will accept aid from anyone, including the United States, but in terms of commodities. But they don't seem to want the people.

    The Singaporeans and the Thais have offered to send in medical teams, various things like that, and they have also been — gotten the brush-off.

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