BANGKOK, May 24 (UPI) -- The United Nations will operate its ongoing efforts to help the victims of the destructive cyclone in Myanmar through Bangkok, the U.N.'s leader said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon officially opened the international organization's staging area at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport Saturday, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Ban said during the opening ceremony that the airport site will serve as a staging area for all international aid regarding Cyclone Nargis.
"It's our duty to do everything we can to prevent further deaths and suffering, that's why today's official opening of the Don Mueang air hub is so vital," Ban said.
"We're still at the relief phase of the crisis. The needy and vulnerable depend on the delivery of emergency assistance. Therefore the channeling of aid into Myanmar should be as efficient and logistically sound as possible," Ban added.
Myanmar officials say that to date Cyclone Nargis has left more than 130,000 people dead or missing since it struck Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, May 2-3.