The United States says it will announce an aid package to help floods victims in Myanmar, as international aid efforts have accelerated after the disaster affected tens of thousands across the country.
Speaking in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. Embassy in Yangon is working closely with Myanmar officials to determine priorities for the aid.
The embassy later told VOA Burmese that it’s still preparing for the announcement.
The Myanmar government has appealed for international aid to bolster relief efforts and Deputy Director General of Foreign Affairs Kyaw Moe Tun told VOA Burmese that foreign embassies in Myanmar have been asked to provide food, relief materials, medicine and water purifiers.
"We hand over the humanitarian assistance we receive from international donors to the Relief and Resettlement Ministry and Social Welfare Dept. They coordinate with State and and Divisions that are in urgent need and distribute accordingly. We also welcome donations of materials that will help the rehabilitation of the flood victims," he said.
He added Japan has pledged $150,000 in aid while Vietnam is providing clean water worth $20,000.
Aid groups and volunteers have told VOA Burmese that relief workers are struggling to reach some hard-hit areas.
Pierre Peron, a spokesperson for the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance in Yangon, said the agency is trying to gain access to the affected areas.
"What the U.N. is doing at the moment is working with the authorities to go on assessments," he said.
The UNOCHA said it also aims to help floods victims recover from the disaster. Myanmar’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement so far confirmed that more than 250,000 people have been affected and 69 killed by flooding that was triggered last week by monsoon rains.
Thailand and China have also joined in donating relief supplies. A ten-member Chinese rescue team arrived in Yangon Tuesday to extend a helping hand in relief efforts.