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Cyclone Mocha may hit world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh

Emergency
Bangladesh

Mocha may hit the border area of Bangladesh and Myanmar on sunday 14th May. Concerns are very high regarding Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, where 1 million Rohingya are living.

Cyclonic storm Mocha approaching the coast of Bangladesh and Myanmar (picture date: 12th May 2023)

Cyclonic storm Mocha approaching the coast of Bangladesh and Myanmar (picture date: 12th May 2023) | © Cyclocane.com

 In Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, Humanity & Inclusion teams are already on alert.

Thousands of people at risk, shelters won’t be able to withstand the wind

The cyclonic storm “Mocha” is approaching the Bangladesh-Myanmar border and is likely to hit southeast Bangladesh and North Myanmar on Sunday 14th May, 2023 as a very severe cyclonic storm (150-160 kmph wind speed). At this stage, the concerns are extremely high regarding the situation in Cox’s Bazar (south-east of Bangladesh, where nearly 600,000 host communities and more or less 1 million Rohingya refugees are living in overcrowded camps.Overview of a Rohingya refugees camp at Teknaf Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh

Shelters in the camps are made of bamboos and tarpaulin sheets, which can’t withstand the violent winds, and most people won’t be able to be relocated and remain in the camps. Many camps are on hilly terrain recently deforested to host hundreds of thousands of refugees. As a result, there is a huge risk of landslides and flash floods.

“Our main concerns are the risk of injuries from debris and fragile bamboo shelters which won’t be able to withstand the wind, as well as landslides and flash floods. Humanity & Inclusion teams are already on alert and fully mobilized on the ground in order to provide emergency support to the most vulnerable people in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps”. Rajesh Chandra, Program Director in Bangladesh.

200 staff members, 350 volunteers on the ground

Humanity & Inclusion teams are fully mobilized to give assistance to the most vulnerable people: nearly around 200 staff members are on alert in Bangladesh in addition to 350 volunteers among the Rohingya population and host communities in the camps. Rehabilitation mobile teams identify injured people and purpose rehabilitation cares
Humanity & Inclusion operates in nearly 26 camps (including 6 camps in Teknaf) reaching about around nearly around 850,000 Rohingya refugees with a high level of children and people with disabilities (12%), in addition to the hosted communities.

 
We have already started to identify safe areas in the camps, in order to protect people with disabilities and other vulnerable people, because most refugees won’t be able to be relocated. 7 Humanity & Inclusion facilities are ready to relocate the most vulnerable groups. HI also helps the authorities to identify children and people with disabilities in the case of evacuations.

Distributing basic needs kits, wheelchairs, crutches… The NGO is prepared to respond to the emergency

Humanity & Inclusion teams in Cox’s Bazar are ready to provide more than 1,000 basic need kits, including hygiene, kitchen and dignity kits and hundreds of blankets. 
Mobility and assistive devices are ready to be provided directly to people with disabilities, injuries, and also local hospitals. 

Humanity & Inclusion teams will also be able to provide psychological support to people in need. 
Humanity & Inclusion’s Atlas Logistique team is also ready to mobilize immediately to provide storage and transportation of aid to other humanitarian actors.


Picture 1 : Overview of a Rohingya refugees camp at Teknaf Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh ©A.Abdullah/HI 2018

Picture 2 : Rehabilitation mobile teams identify injured people and purpose rehabilitation cares ©S.Ahmed/HI 2018

Date published: 12/05/23

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