Myanmar

As Cyclone Devastates Myanmar, Junta Blocks Aid – CNN.co.jp

As Cyclone Devastates Myanmar, Junta Blocks Aid – CNN.co.jp


Collapsed houses were seen in a refugee camp in Sittwe, western Myanmar, on Sunday. /Sai Aung Main/AFP/Getty Images

Published Friday 2023.05.19 12:16 JST

(CNN) In Myanmar, which was directly hit by the powerful cyclone “Mocha”, humanitarian aid to the hard-hit western Rakhine State was blocked by the military government and has never been able to reach.

The United Nations agency announced on the 18th that it was continuing negotiations to reach the affected areas in Rakhine State. Mocha made landfall in Myanmar on the 14th, becoming one of the most powerful cyclones in the country’s history.

Hundreds may die and thousands are in dire need of shelter, water, food and medicine. The exact number of casualties was unknown due to flooding, blocked roads and loss of communications.

Rakhine state, home to hundreds of thousands of displaced people, has reported devastation, including destruction of homes and infrastructure.

The damage has hampered access to remote areas and aid deliveries have been delayed due to travel restrictions already imposed by the junta.

Collapsed houses = Sittwe refugee camp in western Myanmar on the 16th

The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said humanitarian workers needed travel permits, hampering the response to the cyclone. “We were unable to obtain travel permits from the junta, and it seemed that many agencies were unable to even assess needs, let alone deliver aid.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is awaiting permission from the military junta to enter affected areas in Rakhine State and start field investigations to get a full picture of the humanitarian situation.

A little girl pumps water in a refugee camp in Sittwe, western Myanmar, on May 16. /Sai Aung Main/AFP/Getty Images

In Rakhine State and the Northeast, an estimated 5.4 million people were directly affected by the cyclone, of whom more than 3 million were among the most vulnerable.

A Rohingya woman stands inside a house affected by Cyclone Mocha in Sittwe, western Myanmar, on May 16. /Sai Aung Main/AFP/Getty Images

Funding is also severely lacking. The $764 million humanitarian aid package is less than 10 percent funded.

Aid Fails to Arrive as Myanmar Hit by Cyclone



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