UN seeks $42.1 million as urgent support after cyclone Mocha in Bangladesh
The United Nations and its partners in Bangladesh on Tuesday appealed for $42.1 million for the Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi communities in Cox’s Bazar who are facing the devastating impact of Cyclone Mocha.
The cyclone severely affected all 33 refugee camps and surrounding Bangladeshi villages, leaving thousands desperately in need.
The urgent appeal includes $36.5 million under the Rohingya Refugee Response to benefit refugees and Bangladeshi communities.
Additionally, the UN and its partners seek $5.6 million exclusively for Bangladeshi families in Teknaf.
The appeal focuses on the urgent needs to replenish contingency stocks, prepare ahead of the monsoon season, and use weather and fire-resistant materials for shelters and facilities that are critical in saving lives.
Cyclone Mocha struck the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on 14 May, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis and Rohingya were impacted by the cyclone.
Shelters built of bamboo and tarpaulin were damaged and destroyed. Many more lost access to clean drinking water and other water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. Key facilities for education, nutrition, protection, and more were damaged or destroyed.
“The cyclone has taken a huge toll on Bangladeshi and refugee communities, even if we missed the eye of the storm,” said Gwyn Lewis, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, UNB reports.
“What we need to do is to build back better with weather and fire-resistant materials. Many refugees lost their homes in March due to devastating fires and had just begun rebuilding their lives. They are now rebuilding their shelters once again following the cyclone and are bracing for the monsoons that are around the corner,” he said.
Rohingya refugees are particularly vulnerable this year because the 2023 Appeal seeking $876 million dollars is only 17% funded as of mid-May. Funding shortfalls, resulting in two ration cuts in March and imminently in June 2023, will decrease food assistance by 33.3%. Other critical programmes and activities are also being cut.
“Refugees are not allowed to work and are completely reliant on the international community.” said Lewis, “We desperately need $56 million to restore the full food rations of refugees. Now we also need additional support to rebuild the camps after the cyclone and prepare for the monsoons.”
The Resident Coordinator acknowledged the government’s leadership in implementing its sophisticated disaster preparedness and response systems that has saved countless lives in the past years and during Cyclone Mocha.
In Myanmar, the humanitarian community also launched a $333 million Flash Appeal on Tuesday to assist 1.6 million people affected by Cyclone Mocha.