The cyclone that ripped through Burma left tens of thousands dead and a million homeless–a natural disaster made much worse by the failure of the military junta to warn or evacuate its people.
Now, the government has slowed the urgent process of providing humanitarian relief–so Avaaz is raising funds for the International Burmese Monks Organization and related groups, which will transmit funds directly to monasteries in affected areas.
In many of the worst-hit areas, the monasteries are the only source of shelter and food for Burma’s poorest people. They have been on the front lines of the aid effort since the storm struck. Other forms of aid could be delayed, diverted or manipulated by the Burmese government–but the monks are the most trusted and reliable institution in the country.