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FOUR PAWS to help thousands of animals in Myanmar after cyclone Komen wreaks havoc


Sydney, 19 August 2015 - FOUR PAWS has sent a rapid response team to the Irrawaddy Delta in south-west Myanmar to help thousands of animals affected by cyclone Komen. These animals, mainly cows and pigs from small farmers, are in urgent need of drinking water, food, and temporary shelter.


FOUR PAWS is the first animal welfare organisation active in the area. With local support, FOUR PAWS’ Rapid Response Team Manager Dr Khalil has already organised the supply of around 50 tonnes of food. As the infrastructure has collapsed in many places, the FOUR PAWS team has bought two boats to get the food to the hungry animals. As it is still raining heavily, tents have been set up for temporary food storage.


To reach the people and their animals efficiently and quickly, the international animal welfare organisation is cooperating on the ground with humanitarian bodies such as the Mingalar Myanmar development agency. Yesterday, around 600 cows and pigs in a village in Nyaungdone were supplied with food.


The devastating cyclone Komen has wreaked havoc in large areas of Myanmar. Torrential rain in early August cost over a hundred people their lives, and countless houses, bridges, roads and rice paddies were destroyed. The United Nations estimates that 1.3 million people have been affected by this natural disaster.


Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in South East Asia. Dr Amir Khalil, Lead of the FOUR PAWS rapid response team: “With the loss of their animals, many people have also lost their livelihoods. Those who have been able to save their animals have no way of looking after them. We are operating in close cooperation with national and local authorities such as the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development and the National Disaster Management Working Committee. In consultation with the authorities, it was decided that our team will get active in the Irrawaddy Delta because in this area a particularly large number of farm animals have no access to food.”


Dr Khalil: “As far as possible we will also provide medical care for the animals. Many animals are standing in water, so there is a risk that diseases will spread. However, the animals can only be vaccinated once the situation has started to normalise and access to the area has become easier.” The relief operation, which is focusing on providing emergency care for around 10,000 cows, buffaloes, pigs, and goats, will last around two weeks.