Air Serv International Myanmar response update

Air Serv International Myanmar response update

Warrenton, Virginia 14 May 2008 – Air Serv International staffers Allen Carney, vice president of international programs, and Corliss Zylstra, Myanmar field response manager, have been in Bangkok, Thailand for the past several days. Along with representatives of donor agencies and other members of the international humanitarian aid community, they are actively engaged in efforts to gain access to cyclone stricken Myanmar (also known as Burma).

On May 12, Carney presented a proposal to the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok to make helicopters available for the relief efforts. Both Carney and Zylstra attended the Logistics Cluster meeting hosted by the World Food Program (WFP) yesterday, as well as an NGO meeting hosted by the British aid organization Oxfam. Carney and Zylstra will be taking part in the upcoming Interagency meeting at the UN on Thursday and are scheduled to meet with officials of the Myanmar Embassy later in the day.

Reports of another storm heading towards Myanmar today underscored the urgency of the situation. “There is general consensus that the humanitarian situation in Myanmar will continue to deteriorate and escalate into a more serious humanitarian crisis,” Carney said today. Reports from the meetings Carney and Zylstra attended indicate that the relief supplies trickling in overland are negligible in terms of actual relief effectiveness. Air Serv International will continue to seek access to Myanmar and is cooperating with all international parties to respond to the disaster.

Air Serv International operated relief flights in Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami under conditions similar to those in the cyclone affected area of Myanmar. The not-for-profit organization has nearly 25 years of humanitarian aviation experience and is known for its flexible logistics capabilities and its life-saving flights in some of the most inaccessible areas of the world. Air Serv International is a member InterAction, a U.S. based coalition of international NGOs, and a signatory to the International Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief.

Corliss Zylstra may be contacted at czylstra@airserv.org or via mobile at +66 (0)80 – 604 -2503. Allen Carney may be contacted at acarney@airserv.org or via mobile at 1-540-630-1820. Air Serv International’s Rapid Response Team Lead in the U.S., Morgan Butler-Lewis, may be reached at mbutler-lewis@airserv.org or via mobile at 1-540-522-7787.

For more information about Air Serv International and to find out how to donate to the Myanmar response, please go to www.airserv.org.

Media contact: Rudolph Joseph, 1-540-428-2323, ext. 137, rjoseph@airserv.org