The ASEAN Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ERAT) will be deployed to Yangon and other affected areas in Myanmar from 1 June 2008. The team will stay a month to conduct field assessments of recovery needs. To support the humanitarian operations of the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force for the Victims of Cyclone Nargis and the Tripartite Core Group, which comprises representatives from the United Nations, the Government of Myanmar and ASEAN, an ASEAN Field Office has been set up in Yangon.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan said, “It’s important to move things forward rapidly. We don’t want to lose any more momentum.”

As Chair of the Task Force, Dr Surin held three meetings yesterday to co-ordinate and plan the strategies and activities to assist the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. He met representatives from the World Bank; the Tripartite Core Group; and the International Non-Governmental Organisations, Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the private sector. Dr Surin was appointed to chair the Task Force to realise the ASEAN-led coordinating mechanism to facilitate the effective distribution and utilisation of assistance from the international community.

A schedule of activities of the Task Force and Dr Surin’s meetings with the various representatives yesterday are available on www.asean.org

Go Back to ASEAN Humanitarian Efforts for the Victims of Cyclone Nargis Website