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Junta in Burma (Myanmar) presses ahead with vote, rebuffs most aid efforts

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The UN and Red Cross have sent out about 15 assessment teams into the region that will report back in the next few days. The WFP has already issued an emergency appeal for $54 million, which would feed 630,000 people for six months, although that number could change when new information becomes available.

The International Organization for Migration says it is asking for $8 million. The UN refugee agency says it needs $6 million to fund the immediate shelter and household needs of 250,000 people.

Aid pledges grow

As of Thursday, the UN had tallied donations of $25 million from 28 nations, the European Union, and charities. An additional $25 million has been pledged by donors.

That amount rose Friday, when Japan pledged $10 million in aid, through the UN. France announced that it was sending a navy ship loaded with 1,500 tons of humanitarian aid to Burma. The Gates Foundation also donated $3 million via aid agencies Mercy Corps, Worldvision, and CARE, and will provide software to help reunite family members separated in the cyclone, founder Bill Gates said.

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