18 Jul 2008 - 10 Sep 2019
Burma cyclone: lifeline radio support
In response to the devastating impact of Cyclone Nargis, the BBC World Service Trust, in partnership with the BBC Burmese Service, is broadcasting emergency radio 'lifeline' support.
Radio trails and programmes promoting basic health messages, about issues such as sanitation and where to access aid, began at the beginning of June 2008.
Stephen King, Director, BBC World Service Trust says: "Although aid is now getting through, the challenges facing Burma - and development agencies trying to distribute aid - are enormous. Here at the BBC World Service Trust the focus is on using the media to assist in emergency response. The power of radio is immediate and wide-reaching as it offers a vital way of giving people access to information."
The short programmes are on air six days a week. The use of radio helps supplement other aid services, and provides critical information about the ongoing efforts to distribute water, food and temporary housing.
It also guarantees breadth of impact, as the BBC Burmese Service has an estimated audience of at least seven million regular Burmese listeners.
Our partnership with the BBC World Service Trust ensures a powerful way of sharing information through radio.
Tin Har Swe, Head of the Burmese Service
This new 'lifeline' information will augment the existing news and current affairs programmes and provides a critical means of helping people start to rebuild their lives.
Tin Har Swe, Head of the Burmese Service, adds:
"Help is needed urgently. The stories emerging emphasise the need not just for basic supplies, such as water purification tablets, blankets, plastic sheeting and medicines, but also for information about where to access relief and advice both on survival and reconstruction. Our partnership with the BBC World Service Trust ensures a powerful way of sharing information through radio."
Cyclone Nargis struck Burma on 2nd May killling 78,000 with as many as 56,000 missing. Many thousands more have lost their homes and livelihoods.
The project has been facilitated by a £50,000 donation from the Vodafone Group Foundation.
Andrew Dunnett, the Director of the Foundation adds:
"The provision of accurate, timely information is a disaster response in its own right and this donation can help the BBC World Service Trust to produce high quality emergency programming that we hope will provide considerable assistance to the Burmese people at this extremely difficult time."