IOM Appeals for USD 11.25 Million to Respond to Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar
31 May 2023
Yangon – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for USD 11.25 million to scale up its emergency assistance to vulnerable populations affected by Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar.
The impacts of the Extremely Severe Cyclone Mocha, which struck Myanmar on 14 May, greatly exacerbated existing needs on top of an already dire humanitarian situation for the more than 5.4 million people estimated to have been in the path of the cyclone. These include the 3.4 million people living in the highest impact zone, and particularly the 1.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the affected states of Rakhine, Chin, Sagaing, Magway and Kachin.
The IOM Cyclone Mocha Flash Appeal aims to reach over 75,000 vulnerable individuals, including IDPs in protracted displacement and newly displaced, and host communities, including those in affected areas with limited access to basic services.
The Appeal also covers individuals with severe protection needs, such as returned migrants forced to return to cyclone and conflict-affected areas without prior planning, and those who have experienced labour exploitation, gender-based violence, trafficking and/or abuse.
In line with emerging needs, IOM’s humanitarian response will focus on five sectors of assistance, including access to basic health services; shelter and non-food items support; protection and mental health and psychosocial support; water, sanitation and hygiene; and food security.
“The crisis comes at a time of increased political turmoil and conflict, compounding an already critical humanitarian situation, hence our rapid leveraging of existing resources around the country to support vulnerable populations most in need,” said Dragan Aleksoski, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Myanmar.
IOM teams in Rakhine have begun providing mobile health services to populations in need in affected areas of Sittwe, Buthidaung, Pauktaw and Maungdaw. Surge staff have also been mobilized, and IOM teams on the ground are gauging the full impact of the cyclone and developing distribution plans for highly needed shelter, non-food items and water, sanitation and hygiene items in coordination with humanitarian partners, while transfer of resources from other missions in the region is being explored.
IOM has been operational in Myanmar since 2005 and is present across the country. With over 240 staff, a country office in Yangon, a liaison office in Nay Pyi Taw, sub-offices in Rakhine, Sagaing, Kachin, Kayin, Mon, nine Migrant Resource Centres, including in Sittwe, as well as long-established collaborations with a broad range of partners around the country, IOM is well positioned to respond rapidly.
“Advocacy at the highest regional and global levels for immediate and unrestricted access remains crucial to ensure rapid delivery of essential life-saving assistance to the people most affected by the cyclone,” noted Aleksoski.
Prior to his current position, Dragan served as the Senior Regional Emergency and Post-Crisis Specialist in the IOM Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Vienna. In this capacity, he was responsible for providing technical support for the development and implementation of IOM’s emergency and post-crisis activities and services in the countries in the region. Before this, he served as a Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration in Tajikistan. Dragan began his professional career with IOM in 1999, working on the Humanitarian Evacuation Program of Kosovo refugees from North Macedonia. Since then, he has worked in a variety of countries including Thailand, East Timor, Namibia, Pakistan and Croatia.
Dragan holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from University in Skopje and specialized course diploma in Migration Studies from the University of Maastricht.