Press Release

WFP Operational Update: WFP Steps up Assistance to those Affected by Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar

31 May 2023

SITTWE – WFP and its local partners have reached over 230,000 people with life-saving food assistance in the wake of Cyclone Mocha, the most destructive storm to strike Myanmar in over a decade. Within 72 hours after landfall on 14 May, WFP began food distributions in Sittwe, Rakhine’s state capital, which suffered considerable damage. The cyclone has flattened houses, destroyed livelihoods, and disrupted telecommunications, power, and supply chains.

“This is a climate emergency within a much larger complex emergency. Being already displaced, cyclone survivors now have been left with next to nothing, rendering them even more vulnerable,” said Stephen Anderson, WFP Country Director in Myanmar.

“WFP and partners are moving quickly to transport and distribute our existing stocks of food to all those in need wherever they are, but these supplies are rapidly dwindling. Support from the international community is urgently required.”


Here is an update on WFP’s response in the aftermath of the cyclone:

  • So far, WFP and partners have supported over 230,000 cyclone-affected people with life-saving food assistance in Rakhine state and Magway region.
  • This includes families previously displaced by conflict and Rohingya communities living in camps in central Rakhine and villages in northern Rakhine.
  • WFP food assistance has so far reached affected people in Kyauktaw, Kyaukphyu, Mrauk-U, Myaebon, Pauktaw, Ponnagyun, Rathedaung and Sittwe townships in central  Rakhine and Buthidaung and Maungdaw in northern Rakhine, with plans to expand.
  • WFP is mobilizing resources to provide 800,000 people with emergency food and cash for an initial three months in areas devastated by Cyclone Mocha.
  • WFP is appealing for US$60 million to deliver emergency food and nutrition assistance to 2.1 million highly food-insecure people until the end of the year throughout the country. This includes US$ 23 million just to support 440,000 people newly affected by the cyclone. Unless additional funding is confirmed soon, all of WFP’s life-saving programmes will be interrupted in August 2023.
  • In the hardest hit areas, the most pressing needs are food, shelter, drinking water and sanitation, according to early monitoring by WFP and partners.
  • The destruction caused by the cyclone impacts immediate and longer-term food security. Salt water has contaminated farmland and fishponds, while rice seed stocks and livestock have been devastated.


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Elise Gibergues-Newton

Communications Officer
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Htet Oo Linn

Communications Officer

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