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Mocha, a cyclone that hit Myanmar, has impacted nearly 800,000 People

According to the United Nations, on Friday, May 19, at least 800,000 people in Myanmar required emergency food aid and other assistance. This was after Cyclone Mocha hit the nation earlier this week.

Mocha hit Myanmar and Bangladesh with torrential rain and gusts of 195 km/h (120 mph). Myanmar's government reported 145 fatalities, but media accounts suggested a higher toll.

Due to decades of ethnic conflict, millions of Rohingya refugees remain in camps in Rakhine, one of Myanmar's states.The UN's World Food Programme described the region as having "a trail of devastation" through it.

According to Anthea Webb, WFP's deputy regional director for Asia and the Pacific, the typhoon left "houses flattened, roads cut off by uprooted trees, hospitals and schools destroyed, severely interrupted electricity lines," she told journalists in Geneva through a video link from Bangkok.

She said, " Increasing needs for food, shelter, water, health, and other humanitarian aid are expected to emerge as we reach more areas. At least 800,000 people urgently need emergency food assistance."

Although Bangladesh was not directly affected, she added that "nearly 500,000 Bangladeshis and thousands of Rohingya refugees have lost their homes and assets."

Webb says WFP began its response to Mocha before landfall. A monetary aid program was provided in advance to 28,000 people in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border.

And she said that the organisation had provided emergency food help to thousands of refugees after the storm's worst passed. They worked "round-the-clock" to restart their food support.

WFP has started distributing emergency food to families residing in shelters for evacuees in Rakhine state and the nearby Magway district in Myanmar.

She stated that the organisation's original three-month goal was to reach at least 800,000 people in the worst-affected regions of Rakhine, Magway, and Chin. Over half of the population has relocated due to the war. Neither nation has sufficient resources, according to Webb.

She cited how money constraints had compelled WFP in March to cut the value of food coupons for refugees residing in Bangladesh's Cox's bazaar to only 10 cents for each meal.

She said, "And we must reduce it again in June unless financing is secured," mentioning the WFP's urgent need for $56 million to support Rohingya refugees there through the end of the year.

However, she added that the UN agency in Myanmar needs US$60 million to help 2.1 million internally displaced and vulnerable people, including the 800,000 Mocha victims.


The typhoon has made an already poor situation harder for millions of people who struggle to survive in highly vulnerable circumstances.

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