Myanmar Offered $50M If It Lets In Foreign Teams

YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar was promised nearly $50 million in cyclone aid on Sunday, but some Western donor countries said their cash was contingent on the junta keeping its word on letting in foreign aid workers and assessment teams.

"The Myanmar authorities must turn promises into action. The eyes of the world are watching," British development minister Douglas Alexander said after a landmark aid conference in the former Burma, under army rule for the last 46 years.

The United States, which deems the country an "outpost of tyranny," said it was ready to offer more than the $20.5 million of aid sent after the May 2 cyclone that left 134,000 people dead or missing and another 2.4 million destitute.

"However, in order to do so, the government must allow international disaster assistance experts to conduct thorough assessments of the situation," U.S. envoy to southeast Asia Scot Marciel said.

Three weeks after Nargis pounded the Irrawaddy delta, the United Nations says three-fourths of those most in need have yet to receive any help -- and that hunger and disease could send the death toll soaring if the situation does not change.

The junta, by contrast, says the relief phase of the disaster is already over.

Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein thanked the 500 delegates from 50 countries for the help so far given and said more would be welcome as long as it came from "genuine goodwill" and "provided that there are no strings attached nor politicization involved."

China and some other Asian countries said it was important to keep aid and politics separate in dealing with a regime that has defied all pressure to loosen its vice-like grip on power.