Cyclone Mocha
© Md Shoaib and Md Sadek
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Cyclone Mocha devastates Myanmar and Bangladesh

Millions of refugees and vulnerable people urgently need aid and support.

Since making landfall on 14 May, Cyclone Mocha has had a devastating impact on homes and infrastructure, affecting millions of people in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In Myanmar, an estimated 5.4 million people have been affected by the cyclone, of whom 3.2 million are considered the most vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance. UNHCR is supporting the response and coordination efforts, as part of the United Nations Humanitarian Country Team.  

In Bangladesh, 2.3 million people have been affected, including 930,000 Rohingya refugees. UNHCR is supporting the government-led response and is working closely with the humanitarian community as well as community leaders and volunteers. In Cox’s Bazaar – home to the world’s largest refugee camp – efforts are underway to assess damage and provide emergency assistance.  

Australia for UNHCR CEO Trudi Mitchell recently visited Cox’s Bazar to see conditions in the camp first hand.

“A million refugees live in flimsy bamboo shelters. Most of them fled violence in Myanmar more than five years ago,” Ms Mitchell said. “Now they’re facing another challenge.”

Initial assessments reveal that homes and key facilities have been destroyed, especially in the Rohingya camps in the Teknaf area and neighbouring Bangladeshi communities. 

UNHCR and its partners, along with government agencies, are on the ground to provide emergency relief to the affected communities. Rapid assessments are ongoing. The immediate priorities include the provision of emergency shelter, clean drinking water, food supplies and ensuring access to health and sanitation facilities. 

The Rohingya refugees themselves have bravely been at the forefront of the cyclone response, with more than 3,000 Rohingya men and women trained and equipped as first responders in fires, floods and cyclones helping their community stay safe before, during and after the cyclone. They helped evacuate people residing in landslide-prone areas and those with specific needs to safer locations within the camps.

“We will stay and deliver for as long as is needed, but we need Australia’s help,” said Ms Mitchell.

In both Myanmar and Bangladesh, UNHCR’s budget remains severely underfunded.  Australia for UNHCR is calling for urgent support from Australians for people in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Your donation can provide ongoing care and protection for refugees and vulnerable people who have already endured so much.


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