First Lady Laura Bush Urges Burmese Government to Accept U.S. Aid for Cyclone Victims

In an exclusive interview with the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), first lady Laura Bush urged Burma’s military leaders to accept U.S. humanitarian aid for cyclone victims.

Refuting reports in the Burmese media that U.S. aid would come with strings attached, Mrs. Bush stated, “There would absolutely be no strings attached.” She said, “The people of the United States want to help the people of Burma…and there are a lot of ways we can help.” According to the first lady, U.S. Navy ships supplied with disaster relief materials are prepared to transfer items including water purification trucks to Burmese citizens, as well as provide helicopters to rescue people cut off by flooding.

“I urge them [the Burmese government] to allow the international community to help in every way they can.”

Mrs. Bush told IBB that the U.S. has been “very active” in trying to provide disaster relief to the people of Burma and could do much more if permitted to by Burmese officials. She said the U.S. will continue to work with international aid organizations and non-governmental organizations that are allowed into Burma.

Mrs. Bush added that she hopes that the people of Burma who listen to the Voice of America and other radio stations know that “the whole international community is doing what we can to reach out to them.”

The interview with Mrs. Bush aired on today’s On the Line program will be available at On the Line, a production of the International Broadcasting Bureau’s Office of Policy, is broadcast worldwide twice a week on VOA Television and is also heard on VOA radio.

Under the supervision of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) provides the administrative and engineering support for U.S. government-funded non-military international broadcasting and oversees the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio and TV Mart