- Web Master
- June 11, 2019
Rakhine State is currently grappling with the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha, leaving over 1.1 million people devastated and in dire need of food assistance and support to rebuild their homes. The coup-regime has impeded the efforts of donors and organizations willing to provide aid, by systematically implementing blockades on humanitarian aid .
According to the Rakhine State government under the Military Council, Cyclone Mocha, which made landfall to coastal areas of Rakhine State on May 14th, claimed the lives of 148 individuals and affected a staggering 1.15 million people, causing significant damage estimated at 4898.6 million kyats.
Locals of Rakhine State express their deep disappointment over the lack of assistance provided by the Military Council to the individuals severely impacted by the cyclone.
A resident of Thekon village, which was flattened by the cyclone, located in Pauktaw Township, said.“Currently, we are mainly dependent on the support of individual donors. Their donated provisions sustain us. And we sheltered in makeshift tents crafted from aged tarpaulins. The government (Military Council) offers no assistance in rebuilding our homes or ensuring food security”.
The Military Council has not only hindered assistance to those affected by the cyclone but also prevented NGOs and international organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from extending their support. Even worse, they have disrupted the efforts of humanitarian aid workers engaged in rescue operations within the storm-affected regions.
A Rakhine aid workers person told Narinjara,” Right now, we're doing all we can to help out since the international organizations cannot really step in effectively. It's mostly our local social aid groups putting in the extra effort.But things have gotten rough lately.
Sayar Wai Hin Aung and his crew got nabbed by the Military Council, and that has got
us aid workers worried. They're basically saying that if we keep going with our rescue missions, we could end up behind bars too. It's just crazy to be making arrests when the whole Rakhine State is dealing with a disaster”, a Rakhine aid person told Narinjara.
Based on the latest updates, Thailand has generously contributed 20 tons of essential relief items, including temporary tents, mosquito nets, and instant noodles, to assist the cyclone-affected individuals in Rakhine State. Similarly India has extended its support
by donating 25 tons of vital supplies, such as tents, fish cans, tarpaulin sheets, nutritional cookies, and medicine handed over to the Military Council. The ASEAN countries have also collectively provided a commendable donation of over 60,000 dollars' worth of assistance to the Military Council.
Aid organizations say that based on the use of food aid as a weapon of war ,most of this aid will never reached the hands and mouths of the most needed and desperate among the many victims of the cyclone.