This from U.S. Campaign for Burma:
The news is staggering and in many ways unfathomable. Yesterday, Shari Villarosa, the leading US diplomat in Burma said that 100,000 may have died and 95% of the buildings in the affected areas could be wiped out. The death tolls could increase as water born diseases such as cholera are beginning to spread, and in these worst hit areas aid has not to arrive.
The Burmese regime's blocking of aid is beyond horrendous. Minimal aid is being allowed in. There are still many people and supplies waiting to go, but the Burmese regime continues to deny access. Yesterday, the French government launched a push in the UN to try and enforce aid delivery, but China blocked the effort. If you haven't already, email UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and urge him to step in. Yesterday, within hours after thousands of our members writing in, Ban Ki-moon did start speaking out about Burma.
The New York Times:
The United Nations suspended relief supplies to Myanmar on Friday after the military government seized the food and equipment it had already sent into the country but said it would resume the aid flights on Saturday. The United Nations World Food Program said it would send in two relief flights as planned on Saturday, while negotiations continued with the government about the distribution of supplies.
Under the military government, the public health infrastructure has been crumbling for decades, he said.
Malaria is already endemic, and many people with AIDS and tuberculosis are going untreated, he said. “We don’t think the blood supply is safe or adequately screened,” Dr. Beyrer said, adding that people injured in the storm and in need of transfusions face the risk of infection and blood-borne diseases.Earlier, in a statement, Myanmar’s military junta said it was willing to receive disaster relief from the outside world but would not welcome outside relief workers, a key demand of aid agencies who want to coordinate and control their own aid.
James: I was afraid of this that the junta would seize aid for themselves and that little would get to the actual people suffering. I wouldn't be surprised if the government doesn't really care about the death toll, less people to have to control. Perhaps that is very cynical and not very optimistic but the junta has shown before that they have descended into the level of animals gone crazy and rabid.
It appears that the junta wants to take the aid and then give it out themselves to make it seem as though they are in control of the situation and had the food, medicine and other supplies all along. I guess the important thing is that aid actually gets to the people needed. That being said, if the junta doesn't allow the trained humanitarian aid workers and doctors into the country as they are not now then there will be another wave of death.
On the donations front, I have a few other details of trusted organizations. First, is UNICEF or United Nations Children Fund which has people already on the ground In Burma and has been there for a long time. The second group is the U.S. Campaign for Burma who are a trusted, long established that works toward great freedom and human rights for Burma. USCB said this of donations to them:
We will then send the money directly to trusted Burmese organizations inside who are working to help the people. You can send checks to us or make online donations.
Personally I am going to give funds to the U.S. Campaign for Burma as they have a direct link into the country and know people on the ground who can funnel the relief aid into trusted hands.