Dhaka/Yangon - 06 July 2017 – The European Union is providing € 1.5 million in humanitarian aid funding for emergency relief assistance to populations affected by Tropical Cyclone Mora, which ripped through parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar in late May. The aid will be targeted at the most vulnerable people in storm-struck localities of the two neighbouring countries.
“Cyclone Mora has left tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Myanmar in dire need of humanitarian assistance. These families have lost their homes, belongings and often their sources of income”, said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for European Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. “With this new contribution from the EU, emergency support will be provided to those most in need to ensure they have shelters to keep them safe and are better equipped with means to survive this hard time.”
Out of the total funding, €1 million will be dedicated to addressing the urgent humanitarian needs in Bangladesh, where Tropical Cyclone Mora has affected the lives of close to three million people. According to data made available by the Government of Bangladesh, some 52,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed, leaving over 200,000 people displaced. The worst-hit area is Cox’s Bazar district, in the South East of the country.
A further €500,000 (776 million MMK) will be used to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to cyclone-affected populations in Myanmar, particularly in the northern part of Rakhine State where widespread destruction has been reported. According to the most recent assessments, the cyclone has left close to 50,000 structures in the area damaged, including more than 21,000 houses and shelters for internally displaced people (IDP), and over 26,000 sanitation facilities.
The EU funding, which will be channelled through the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), will support the EU’s humanitarian partners on the ground in implementing emergency relief programmes in cyclone-hit areas. The aid will focus on responding to the most pressing needs, which include the provision of emergency shelter and food assistance as well as access to clean water, health care services, sanitation facilities and good hygiene practices.
Tropical Cyclone Mora made landfall along the south-eastern coast of Bangladesh on 30 May 2017. It brought strong winds and heavy downpours that wreaked havoc across large parts of Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong Hill Tracts as well as several areas of Myanmar - particularly the coastal Rakhine state -, leaving more than 200 injured in the two countries. Extensive damages to refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district and to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Myanmar Rakhine State have caused the already-dire humanitarian situation in these areas to deteriorate. Communities on both sides of the border are currently without proper shelter, food, water and sanitation facilities. Protection is also a major concern.
Both Bangladesh and Myanmar are currently experiencing their annual monsoon seasons and the imminent rain will likely worsen the situation.
Pierre Prakash, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): +66 89 811 54 81, Pierre.Prakash@echofield.eu