Save the Children teams on high alert as the cyclone travels towards West Bengal and Bangladesh
At least 480,000 children in India have been impacted by torrential rains, flooding and winds of up to 205 km per hour brought by Cyclone Fani, which has destroyed homes, schools and vital infrastructure across the eastern coast.
Save the Children is warning of potential large-scale damage and loss of life among Rohingya refugees this cyclone season as they continue to languish in makeshift camps in southern Bangladesh.
The warning comes as the world marks 48 years since the deadliest cyclone on record ripped through the Bay of Bengal, killing more than 500,000 people with winds of up to 240 km/h. Currently, only five percent of Rohingya shelters can resist winds up to 80km/h, with the remaining 95 percent only able to withstand lower wind speeds.
Humanitarian and civil society agencies working in Rakhine State in Myanmar and in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are deeply concerned that the repatriation of refugees will commence in mid-November, according to an announcement of the Joint Working Group of the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar on 30th October.
The Governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh have made assurances to the refugees and the international community that repatriation will only happen when it is safe, voluntary and dignified. We call on both governments to stand by their commitments.
“Save the Children welcomes the decision that the International Criminal Court may investigate allegations Rohingya people were forced from Myanmar to Bangladesh,” Save the Children Country Director in Myanmar, Michael McGrath, said.
Save the Children International is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with company number 3732267 and a charity registered in England and Wales with charity number 1076822. Its registered office is St Vincent House, 30 Orange Street, London, WC2H 7HH