Press Release

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh calls for urgent support following Cyclone Mocha

23 May 2023

Cyclone Mocha Flash Appeal for Bangladesh issued today seeks USD 42.1 million to support 536,000 Rohingya refugees and 243,000 Bangladeshis

Caption: Devastated mother witnesses her shelter demolished in the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha, Teknaf, 14th May ©️UNDP/Imran Roky

The United Nations and its partners in Bangladesh appealed for USD 42.1 million today for the Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi communities in Cox’s Bazar who are facing the devastating impact of Cyclone Mocha. The cyclone severely affected all 33 refugee camps and surrounding Bangladeshi villages, leaving thousands desperately in need. 

The urgent appeal includes USD 36.5 million under the Rohingya Refugee Response to benefit refugees and Bangladeshi communities. Additionally, the UN and its partners seek USD 5.6 million exclusively for Bangladeshi families in Teknaf. The appeal focuses on the urgent needs to replenish contingency stocks, prepare ahead of the monsoon season, and use weather and fire-resistant materials for shelters and facilities that are critical in saving lives.

Cyclone Mocha struck the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on 14 May, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis and Rohingya were impacted by the cyclone. Shelters built of bamboo and tarpaulin were damaged and destroyed. Many more lost access to clean drinking water and other water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. Key facilities for education, nutrition, protection, and more were damaged or destroyed.

“The cyclone has taken a huge toll on Bangladeshi and refugee communities, even if we missed the eye of the storm,” said Gwyn Lewis, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh.  “What we need to do is to build back better with weather and fire-resistant materials. Many refugees lost their homes in March due to devastating fires and had just begun rebuilding their lives. They are now rebuilding their shelters once again following the cyclone and are bracing for the monsoons that are around the corner.”

Rohingya refugees are particularly vulnerable this year because the 2023 Appeal seeking USD 876 million dollars is only 17% funded as of mid-May. Funding shortfalls, resulting in two ration cuts in March and imminently in June 2023, will decrease food assistance by 33.3%. Other critical programmes and activities are also being cut. 

“Refugees are not allowed to work and are completely reliant on the international community.” said Lewis, “We desperately need USD 56 million to restore the full food rations of refugees. Now we also need additional support to rebuild the camps after the cyclone and prepare for the monsoons.”

The Resident Coordinator acknowledged the Government’s leadership in implementing its sophisticated disaster preparedness and response systems that has saved countless lives in the past years and during Cyclone Mocha.

In Myanmar, the humanitarian community also launched today a USD 333 million Flash Appeal to assist 1.6 million people affected by Cyclone Mocha.


Media Contacts:

In Dhaka: Igor Sazonov, UN Resident Coordinator's Office,, +8801321169633

In Cox’s Bazar: Syed Md Tafhim, Inter Sector Coordination Group,, +8801850018235 and Faik Uyanık, Inter Sector Coordination Group,, +8801847421667

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