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Swiss aid takes off for Myanmar

An aircraft carrying nearly 20 tons of aid for cyclone victims in Myanmar has left Switzerland, 12 days after the disaster struck.

The jet, chartered by the Swiss government’s humanitarian aid section, is expected to arrive on Thursday morning in the capital, Yangon.

On board are two logistics experts, who will join four other colleagues already on the ground.

The Swiss experts will be working alongside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme and a Burmese non-governmental organisation to distribute the aid.

The shipment also includes about 20 large tents for those left homeless and equipment for purifying wells.

The charitable organisation Swissaid has already delivered aid to nearly 15,000 people through local partners. It consisted mainly of rice, mosquito nets and materials to make emergency shelters.

Several other Swiss NGOs are also present in Myanmar. The Swiss public have donated nearly SFr1.3 million ($1.24 million) to the aid effort in the country through the Swiss Solidarity organisation.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR