In May 2017, Cyclone Mora landed in Bangladesh. The government ordered over a million people to evacuate, and the cyclone was given the highest possible category. Winds were expected to reach 100MPH.
It struck the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar, where thousands of Rohingya refugees lived. These were people who had fled severe persecution at the hands of security forces in their homeland, Myanmar. They were already living in makeshift settlements and shantytowns with very little resources. When the cyclone hit, they were living in homes made of tin, bamboo, and plastic – and now they faced a devastating conundrum: what do you do when you have to evacuate a region, but have nowhere to go?
The answer is nowhere. The Rohingya were forced to stay where they were, facing the cyclone in the open air.
Since their travel is restricted, moving to other parts of the country was not an option for Rohingya Muslims, and very few had relatives they could seek shelter with. There were reports that some managed to find refuge in local schools and mosques. But after the cyclone passed, they had nowhere to return to.
A community leader of a Cox’s Bazar camp, Omar Farukh, told Reuters: “We have passed a difficult time. We had no tin or plastic sheets above our heads and almost all of us passed the night in the rain.”
An estimated seven people were killed and 50 injured. Almost 20,000 homes were destroyed.
Charity Right has been on the ground in Bangladesh serving the Rohingya since 2015. Since early 2017, we’ve been providing regular meals to refugees in Cox’s Bazar. In the wake of Cyclone Mora, we were able to offer additional support.
At the time of writing, the condition of the Rohingya has deteriorated dramatically. Nearly 400,000 people have been forced to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh in a matter of three weeks. The UN admitted that the violence against the Rohingya is a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”. Men, women, and children now find themselves stranded in Cox’s Bazar without food.
Our on the ground team assessed the situation in Bangladesh and found that the number one concern for the Rohingya is not shelter or clothing, but food. We’ve already begun distributing emergency food packs, but in order to help the thousands that need food, we need your support.
We encourage you to donate to our Rohingya emergency food appeal in one or more ways:
1. Donate a £55 emergency food pack. It feeds one family for an entire month.
2. Provide ongoing, monthly support.
3. Fundraise an unlimited amount using our fundraising platform: CR Stars
Donate at charityright.org.uk/rohingya
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