UN calls for urgent aid in Rohingya camps following Cyclone Mocha


The United Nations on Monday called for urgent aid and support after Cyclone Mocha damaged Rohingya camps.

Cyclone Mocha wreaked havoc on over a million Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi locals in three districts. Although the cyclone’s effect might have been far worse, the refugee camps have been seriously damaged, leaving hundreds in dire need of assistance. The UN and humanitarian partners have issued an urgent plea for assistance to address the catastrophic situation, according to a press release.

Cyclone Mocha made landfall on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on Sunday afternoon (14 May), bringing torrential rains, powerful gusts of up to 115 kilometers per hour, and severe damage to the frail infrastructure of Rohingya refugee camps and tarpaulin shelters. According to preliminary estimates, thousands of people have been impacted, and houses and critical infrastructure have been damaged, particularly in the Rohingya camps in the Teknaf region and neighboring Bangladeshi communities, it said.

The United Nations and its partners, as well as government agencies, are on the ground providing emergency support to impacted areas. Quick assessments are still being conducted. As a result of the destruction of houses and vital facilities, urgent priority include the provision of emergency shelter, clean drinking water, food supplies, and access to health and sanitation services.

In close collaboration with the UN and its partners, the government of Bangladesh developed a strong preparedness response and continues to work tirelessly to provide emergency relief to affected communities, including women, children, people with disabilities, and those more vulnerable to various risks, the release also said.

“The preparedness efforts of the humanitarian community, led by the Government of Bangladesh, have saved lives. UN agencies and humanitarian partners prepositioned core relief items in the last week, and mobile medical teams were on standby to assist Bangladeshi and refugee communities,” said Gwyn Lewis, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh.

“The trail of destruction, with thousands of refugees seeing their shelters destroyed or damaged, requires our urgent response. The UN calls upon donors, NGOs, and individuals to rally in support of all those affected by Cyclone Mocha. Urgent financial contributions and donations of essential relief items are crucial to meet the immediate needs of those affected and to build back better,” said the Resident Coordinator. “We cannot stand idle in the face of this devastating humanitarian crisis.”

The humanitarian appeal for the Rohingya crisis is just 16% funded this year. Food aid has already been reduced by 17% due to funding constraints. The Rohingya refugees have faced unspeakable suffering, with hundreds losing everything in a massive fire just weeks earlier.

Cyclone Mocha has just added to their misery and made it more difficult to deliver life-saving assistance to refugees in Bangladesh, added the release.

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