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Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 13:08 UK

UN makes last aid flight to Burma

UN chartered cargo plane at Don Mueang airport
Bangkok's Don Mueang airport was a vital air hub, says the UN

The UN has made its last aid flight to Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.

A total of 232 flights have been made from Bangkok, over a three month period, to ferry aid to the devastated Irrawaddy Delta region.

A World Food Programme (WFP) spokesman said the Thai airport had been a critical air hub for vital supplies.

The cyclone in May is believed to have killed more than 130,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of others in desperate need of aid.

At first, Burma's ruling generals refused to allow significant amounts of aid into the country, but eventually relented after pressure from friendly governments in the region.

The UN has said that $1bn (538m) is still needed for relief and reconstruction in Burma.

Vital equipment

Nearly 4,000 tonnes of aid were flown to Burma from Don Mueang airport -including shelter material, medical supplies, mosquito nets and water purification equipment.

"For WFP and the wider UN and NGO community, the air hub was critical for the provision of vital relief supplies to the people of Myanmar (Burma)," said WFP ( World Food Programme) regional director Tony Banbury.

A giant warehouse at the Bangkok site, which was used to store the cargo, will now be closed.

The WFP had chartered 10 helicopters to ferry the aid from Rangoon airport to the delta.



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