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Italy to offer over US$5m aid to Myanmar cyclone-hit areas

THE Italian government has agreed to provide US$5.28 million for use in rehabilitation work and paddy cultivation work in Myanmar's cyclone-hit areas through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), sources with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries said today.

The aid will be used in implementing three projects on sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture livelihood in coastal mangrove ecosystem, support to special rice production and support to the immediate rehabilitation of farming, coastal fisheries and aquaculture livelihood in the Nargis-affected areas.

A total of over 32,000 poor fishermen in cyclone-hit Ayeyawaddy division will be benefited, the sources said.

Meanwhile, with the support of the Japanese government, the FAO has recently donated 800 more draught cattle and poultry to the cyclone survivors in the division for agricultural re-cultivation.

The cattle were distributed to 400 farmers in Bogalay, Laputta, Mawlamyaing Gyun and Ngaputaw, while other chickens, ducks and pigs were brought to the 2,800 farmless households in the regions, according to earlier local report.

In February this year, FAO had also donated 15,000 chickens, ducks and pigs to 16 villages in Laputta township as well as 600 cows and cattle and 80,000 chickens and ducks in December last year to seven storm-hit areas.

Deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit five divisions and states -- Ayeyawaddy, Yangon, Bago, Mon and Kayin on May 2 and 3 last year, of which Ayeyawaddy and Yangon inflicted the heaviest casualties and massive infra structural damage.

The storm has killed 84,537 people, leaving 53,836 missing and 19,359 injured according to official death toll.

Altogether 300,000 cows and cattle died and 323,246 chickens and 1.247 million ducks were lost in the cyclone-hard-hit Ayeyawaddy and Yangon divisions, statistics showed.


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