London, May 25 : Representatives of several international aid donors have begun a meeting in Burma's Rangoon city with the objective of renewing pressure on that country to grant unhindered access to areas devastated by Cyclone Nargis.
The Burmes military government wants about 11 billion dollars to fund relief work. American, French and British military ships are waiting outside Burma's waters with aid, but the Burmese Government is concerned that these ships could somehow be used to launch an invasion.
Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein said Rangoon would accept supplies from foreign warships off its coast, but only if they came in on civilian boats.
Opening the aid conference, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said he was encouraged that dozens of countries were represented.
He said Burma had begun honouring an agreement struck on Friday to allow in foreign aid workers, but rejected Burma's insistence that relief work was already over.
Three weeks on, many of the 2.4 million people affected by the cyclone have not received help. More than 50,000 people are still missing, in addition to those confirmed dead.
Forty-four countries have signed up to attend the conference, which has been jointly organised by the UN and the Association of South East Asian Nations.