Cologne/Yangon/Cox's Bazar: On Sunday morning local time, cyclone "Mocha" hit the coastal regions of Myanmar and Bangladesh with wind speeds of up to 210 kilometers per hour. An official death toll has not yet been released. According to the international disaster warning system GDACS, around three million people in Myanmar and Bangladesh could be affected by the cyclone. Around 500,000 people needed to be evacuated and housed in emergency shelters. The district of Sittwe in Myanmar has been especially affected, but also the region of Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, where the largest refugee camp in the world is located. Malteser International staff and local partner organizations in Myanmar and Bangladesh have already started to distribute the first relief goods to the people who lost everything as a result of the storm. Malteser International has already pledged an initial 100,000 euro for emergency relief measures.
"The first warning signs for the cyclone were already there a few days ago, so that our staff and partners in Myanmar and Bangladesh were able to start early with the preparations for the emergency relief. We have already distributed food, drinking water, infant nutrition, and hygiene items as a precautionary measure to support the people," said Cordula Wasser, Head of the MI Asia Department.
Malteser International has been supporting the people in Myanmar for more than 20 years, and currently employs about 250 staff members on the ground. Malteser International works to support health care, access to water, hygiene and sanitation, as well as disaster preparedness.
Since 2017, MI has been supporting the refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. MI provides medical care to people, especially expectant mothers and newborns, in three healthcare centers via a local partner organization. Volunteers provide psychosocial counseling, conduct health and hygiene training in the camps, and have improved sanitation facilities at schools and community healthcare centers.
Malteser International (MI) works as an international humanitarian aid organization. It is an aid organization of the Catholic Order of Malta and particularly fulfills the order's mission of "helping those in need". The mission is to improve the health and living conditions of suffering and displaced people worldwide. The organization provides aid to people in need in over 140 projects in 35 countries, regardless of religion, political persuasion, origin or gender. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence form the basis of its work. Further information: www.malteser-international.org
Cordula Wasser, Head of the Asia Department is available for interviews and sound bites.
Operator: +49 (0)221 98227 181, katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org
Keyword: "Cyclone Mocha".