"We are clearly still in the emergency relief phase of this crisis," John Holmes, head of the UN’s disaster response arm OCHA, said at the start of a donor conference here.
More than three weeks after the cyclone that left at least 133,000 dead or missing, less than half of the 2.4 million people in need of food, shelter and medicine are receiving help, he said.
At least one million, or 41 percent, of the cyclone victims have received aid, but most of them live around
"This aid operation is about helping vulnerable people in dire need, not about politics. The international community is fully ready, capable and willing to help the government provide critically needed humanitarian assistance to the people of
"The survivors of this tragedy deserve nothing less. But this leaves a huge amount to do, given the time we have lost."
"The government’s decision on Friday to allow international staff into the delta should assist the much-needed improvement in the scale, quality and speed of emergency assistance reaching affected populations," Holmes said.
"We hope the implementation of this decision will be rapid and simple."
Holmes also said that delivery of supplies into
Aid agencies are able to handle their own shipments directly, he said, while at the start of the crisis the military had insisted on handling all aid itself.