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LDS Church to help victims of deadly cyclone

LDS Church to help victims of deadly cyclone

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(KSL News and AP reporting) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today approved funding to purchase items to send to the victims of the deadly cyclone in Myanmar.

The Church will purchase tarps, blankets, food, medical supplies and clean drinking water for the country. It will distribute the goods through humanitarian group CARE International, a well-known non-governmental organization.

Ships and cargo planes carried relief supplies to Myanmar on Wednesday as aid groups distributed food and other supplies to people left homeless by a deadly cyclone that hit the country on Saturday.

More than 60,000 people are dead or missing in Myanmar's densely populated delta. Some fear that number could reach as many as 100,000 people. The U.N says one million people are homeless.

Operations continued to be hampered by the Myanmar government's delay in issuing visas to aid workers. But U.N. and other agencies said they were making progress in persuading the government to let in more experts to help get aid to those who need it most.

The top U.S. diplomat in the Asian nation said Myanmar's military junta was "paranoid" about accepting American help. The U.S. military was putting people and airplanes into position Wednesday in nearby Thailand. But Myanmar's government had not accepted the U.S. offer to send aid, U.S. defense and diplomatic officials said.

The U.N.'s World Food Program said four flights carrying food and other supplies would arrive in Yangon on Thursday morning - the first U.N. flights to reach the country since the storm hit.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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