Pope appeals for solidarity for communities affected by Cyclone Mocha
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis appealed to authorities handling the access of humanitarian assistance to facilitate the delivery of aid to peoples struck by Cyclone Mocha in the Bay of Bengal.
Speaking during the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday, the Pope noted that “more than 800.000 people,” in addition to the many Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar and who arrive in Bangladesh in “precarious conditions” are in need of help.
“I invite you to pray for the people living on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border who have been hard hit by a cyclone,” he said.
Death and destruction
41 people were killed and around 700 were injured when the powerful Cyclone Mocha made landfall between Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu township in Myanmar on 14 May. An OCHA report estimates it has affected some 5.4 million people in Myanmar with 3.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance.
In Bangladesh, according to that report, the cyclone affected approximately 2.3 million people, and destroyed about 12,000 houses. A pre-existing high needs level means that Rohingya refugees living in camps are the most affected.
Pope's appeal for aid distribution
“While I renew my sympathy to these populations, I appeal to those responsible to facilitate access to humanitarian aid,” Pope Francis said.
He concluded with an appeal “to the sense of human solidarity and ecclesial solidarity, to come to the aid of these brothers and sisters of ours.”