OCHA concerned about the effect of Tropical Cyclone Mahasen on internally displaced in northern Rakhine State

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The UN has called for the urgent relocation of all communities living in the path of Cyclone Mahasen in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Credit: IRIN/Brendan Brady

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is most concerned about the northern Rakhine State area of Myanmar where heavy rains are expected as Tropical Cyclone Mahasen moves through the region.

Kirsten Mildren, Public Information and Advocacy Officer for OCHA, says the agency and non-governmental organizations have been advocating for the last six months to the government, that they needed to find good shelter for the internally displaced persons – most of whom are in very inadequate accommodation for the monsoon season.

” We were very, very concerned that something like this would happen. And the government was unable to find a solution. It quickly put together an evacuation plan really over the weekend. It's moved very quickly to try and activate that plan and it had hoped of moving about 160, 000 people. It certainly hasn't been able to move that many people and the most vulnerable, the most at risk was about 40,000 people and it may have moved that many- we are not sure. Many communities didn't go.”

Ms. Mildren says many of the internally displaced are unprotected and wondered what impact the rains will have on them. She says there hasn't been proper communications with these communities and they were very fearful of leaving their homes behind and moving with the military.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’45″

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