EU releases €2.5 million to support victims of cyclone Mocha

Damaged house at the onslaught of very severe cyclonic storm Mocha. He photo is taken on 14 May, 2023Collected

Following the onslaught of very severe cyclone Mocha in Myanmar and Bangladesh, the European Commission has released €2.5 million in emergency humanitarian aid to address the most urgent needs of the affected population, reports news agency UNB.

The full magnitude of the damage is not yet known as access to the affected areas is limited.

However, early reports suggest humanitarian needs are extensive and include shelter, water, sanitation, and food.

Both countries are host to highly vulnerable populations that have been severely affected by the cyclone.

A Rohingya woman carries her baby next to her destroyed house at Basara refugee camp in Sittwe on 16 May, 2023, after Cyclone Mocha made a landfall. The death toll from Cyclone Mocha that barrelled through Myanmar has reached 145 in the country, the junta’s information team said in a statement on 19 May, 2023

Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which was the worst affected, is home to people who have been already displaced by conflict and whose temporary shelters have been largely destroyed. Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, also hit by the cyclone, hosts 1 million Rohingya refugees.

Heavy rainfall is expected in both countries in the coming days, increasing the risk of more flooding and landslides.

In the wake of the emergency, the EU triggered the Copernicus Satellite Emergency Management Service to provide real time mapping and deployed experts to help conduct assessments in the field.

Thanks to previously allocated EU funds, humanitarian partners took anticipatory measures ahead of Mocha’s impact by preparing shelter and food for the populations who would be affected, said a media release on Thursday.

BN Islamic School & College building made of bamboo, wood planks and corrugated iron sheet is completely destroyed at the onslaught of very severe cyclonic storm Mocha at Saint Martin’s island. The photo is taken from Saint Martin’s Dwip Bazar area on 15 May, 2023
Sazid Hossain

In refugee camps in Bangladesh, volunteers trained and supported by EU partners helped inform and prepare communities and provided an immediate response.

These anticipatory measures helped to reduce further loss and damage.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “A swift response is crucial in the wake of any emergency, especially when a disaster impacts already vulnerable communities, like those affected by cyclone Mocha in Myanmar and Bangladesh. We are releasing €2.5 million in humanitarian support and coordinating with our partners on the ground to address the most urgent needs of the population. Prompt action can save lives and prevent more damage.”

On 14 May, very severe cyclone Mocha made landfall on Myanmar and Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, with maximum winds of around 209km/h (equivalent to category 4 hurricane).