YANGON, Myanmar, May 19 (UPI) -- Myanmar's military regime agreed to let in experts from neighboring countries to assess the amount of aid needed by survivors of Cyclone Nargis.
The agreement was reached after an emergency meeting in Singapore of the foreign ministers of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations of which Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a member, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda announced.
Medical teams and assessment personnel will travel to Myanmar to assess the damage and to determine what relief measures need to be taken, an announcement on the ASEAN Web site said.
"The foreign ministers have agreed to establish an ASEAN-led coordinating mechanism" to facilitate the distribution and utilization of assistance from the international community, Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo said, Xinhua reported. Myanmarese Foreign Minister U Nyan Win attended the Singapore meeting, the report said.
The secretive military junta has come under criticism for its slow response to the May 2 calamity. While accepting relief aid from foreign countries, the junta has reportedly refused to allow foreign relief workers to distribute them.
The cyclone killed more than 77,000 people and 55,000 are missing, Xinhua reported. The United Nations has said more than 2.5 million people in Myanmar are desperately in need of aid.