Aid needed for cyclone victims in northern Rakhine

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Sittwe, July (1)

Residents of northern Rakhine, which was pounded by Myanmar’s the most severe cyclone Mocha in 15 years, have not received enough shelter, food, or basic items for nearly two months after the storm, and they asked the military council to develop an effective plan.

At least 1.5 million people were affected by cyclone Mocha, which hit northern Rakhine on May 14, and more than 280,000 homes were damaged, reported the Office of Humanitarian Support and Development of the Arakan Army (AA).

Only 30% of the cyclone victims received emergency aid, with the remaining 70% still in need, said AA.

“Until now, the phone lines don’t work. The schools have not been repaired yet and cannot open yet. Houses cannot be rebuilt yet. The military council needs to come up with a long-term plan for the people affected by the storm and provide solutions,” said a resident in Kyauk Taw.

The military council has prevented the freedom of movement for relief aid to reach the people affected by the cyclone, said Ko Min Bar Chay, a volunteer.

Houses and buildings were destroyed in Rakhine State as a result of the storm Mocha, and people there are in desperate need of food. Since June 7, the military council has banned UN, international, and local organizations from accessing the area.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) claimed that the military council has so far suspended the plan for the transportation and distribution of relief supplies for the response to cyclone Mocha in Rakhine and Chin states.

The Mocha damaged the majority of the school buildings, and only a few schools were able to reopen for this school season in Rakhine State.

Furthermore, the refugee camps were inundated, and some children drowned or got sick. In addition, there are insufficient public toilets and food shortages.

Locals also said that both the AA and the military council did not provide enough support to the refugee camps.

With high general commodity prices following the storm, the residents are living in destroyed houses and are in desperate need of shelter.

Cyclone Mocha in Rakhine State cost more than 520 million kyats, and the military council reported it had contributed seven billion kyats for relief aid, but it accounts for only 1.34 percent of the cost of damage.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo-CJ

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