Myanmar: Cyclone Mocha - Flash Update #10 (as of 14:00 23 May 2023)
- The humanitarian community in Myanmar has launched a $333 million Flash Appeal to assist 1.6 million people affected by Cyclone Mocha, which devastated the country’s west on 14 May.
- Immediate funding is crucial to support vulnerable people in the hardest-hit areas, and coordination efforts are underway to expand access for distributions and facilitate the transportation of essential supplies.
- The cyclone has devastated coastal areas, leaving hundreds of thousands of already vulnerable people without a roof over their heads as the monsoon looms.
- The humanitarian community is in a race against time to provide people with safe shelter in all affected communities and prevent the spread of water-borne disease.
- As feared, community members are starting to report that children are experiencing diarrhea due to unclean water sources. Furthermore, child protection services have been disrupted following the cyclone, leaving vulnerable children in even greater need of support.
- There are growing concerns about the dangers posed by explosive ordnance contamination in the affected areas.
- Humanitarian partners with access to affected people have stepped up support to provide critical and lifesaving assistance, including food aid.
- Field observations in various townships in Rakhine, Northwest, and Kachin regions are informing ongoing response efforts where there is access.
- Based on discussions in Nay Pyi Taw, humanitarians have shared a detailed, two-week distribution plan, for approval, outlining support that is ready to be provided to across all affected communities in Rakhine and Chin.
In the past week, local communities in Rakhine have been cleaning and clearing debris in the affected areas, with volunteers joining forces in Sittwe. Telecommunications are becoming more stable, but it will take time to fully restore services, particularly in the hardest-hit townships of Sittwe and Rathedaung. In the Northwest (Chin, Magway and Sagaing), access challenges, ongoing conflict, and communication problems have hindered the ability of humanitarian partners on the ground to get a full picture of the destruction.
Despite these challenges, humanitarian partners with access to affected people have scaled-up support by providing critical and lifesaving assistance, including food aid. Many Civil Society Organizations, who themselves were also heavily impacted by the cyclone, are also responding to the most critical emergency needs and conducting field observations, to the extent of their access and resources. Based on discussions in Nay Pyi Taw, humanitarians have shared a detailed, two-week distribution plan, for approval, outlining support that is ready to be provided to across all affected communities in Rakhine and Chin. A number of other requests are in process for the transport of relief items into the country.
A rapid analysis of contamination1 and incident data from Cyclone Mocha’s worst-hit areas has found that 60 per cent of the landmine incidents reported in the first quarter of 20232 were in areas that have now been affected by the cyclone. Of these, 90 per cent are reported from the highest impact area (red zone), where winds exceeding 120kmph were recorded. Nearly half of the villages that have reported contamination with high confidence (evidence of landmines reported) are located within this red zone. Moreover, nearly half of the villages that have reported contamination with lower confidence (suspicion of landmine contamination) are also in the red zone.
The protection needs of children in Rakhine are increasing as the cyclone has disrupted the delivery of critical child protection services, including case management and psychosocial support. Children already affected by conflict, displacement, and poverty are now even more vulnerable and require urgent support to meet their basic needs and protect them from harm. Support from child protection actors is limited due to accessibility challenges and the absence of reliable communication channels.
Awareness-raising messages about the risk of explosive ordnance and landmines, waterborne diseases, as well as mental health and psychosocial support, continue to be disseminated among affected communities to promote safety and precautionary measures.