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Myanmar Disaster (May 12 teleconference -- summary)

May 13, 2008

Myanmar4_3As noted earlier, Arabella Advisors, in partenership with the Council on Foundations, hosted a teleconference yesterday to discuss emergency relief needs needs and the longer-term philanthropic response to the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Myanmar. Moderated by Arabella principal and managing director Eric Kessler, the call featured a situation report by Rashid Khalikov, director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as well as remarks by Rein Paulson, senior director for humanitarian and emergency affairs for World Vision; Sam Worthington, president of Interaction; and Kurt MacLeod, Cambodia regional office director for PACT.

(Click for larger image; image courtesy of Arabella Advisors)

In reponse to donor questions about what kinds of supplies are needed at the moment, conference participants stressed that there's a shortage of temporary shelter supplies (e.g., plastic sheeting), and that cash is a good alternative to in-kind donations because it allows local communities to determine what they most need at any given juncture.

A summary (4 pages, PDF) of the call is available here.

At the urging of others, Arabella has established a Disaster Recovery Fund -- "a pooled fund for philanthropists who want their resources to be put toward the long-term recovery of the people, communities, and environment of Myanmar." Contributions can be made out to "Disaster Recovery Fund" and mailed to:

Arabella/Disaster Recovery Fund
1816 Jefferson Place, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Because the call was oversubscribed, Arabella plans to host a second teleconference on Friday, May 16, at 11:00 a.m. (ET). An RSVP to burmarecovery@arabellaadvisors.com is encouraged but not required. Details to follow.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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