- Myanmar is suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in its history. Up to 2.5m people are thought to have been severely affected by the cyclone, losing crops and homes and struggling with inadequate food and water supplies.
- The crisis has revealed once more the junta!s callous disregard for the welfare of Myanmar!s people. Its gravest failing has been its refusal to grant foreign aid supplies and experts easy access to the country.
- Underscoring the junta!s misplaced priorities, on May 10th it pressed on with a national referendum on its new constitution in areas unaffected by the cyclone, while postponing the vote in affected areas for just two weeks.
- According to the junta, over 92% of those who voted in the referendum on May 10th approved the constitution, with voter turnout at over 99%. However, the process was deeply flawed.
- The regions hit hardest by Cyclone Nargis include some of the countrys most productive agricultural regions. Rice stocks have been washed away.
- The prices of many important staples, particularly rice, leapt fourfold in the days following Cyclone Nargis, according to anecdotal evidence, as transport routes were cut off and rice stocks were destroyed or run down.
–extracted from the Economist’s Intelligence Unit’s monthly review of Burma.