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Cyclone Mahasen is moving on from Myanmar towards eastern Bangladesh

Jane Lonsdale, Acting Country Director of Oxfam in Myanmar said:

“Oxfam is very relieved that Cyclone Mahasen did not cause damage to vulnerable communities; if a serious cyclone were to hit Myanmar, the casualties and losses could be huge.”

““The communities of Rakhine remain very vulnerable, particularly the 140,000 displaced people living in camps, some still in tents. This is only the beginning of the monsoon season: people face heavy rain and potentially more storms. The international aid community has been highlighting for many months now the need to relocate those people living in low lying camps with poor shelter; nothing has changed in the respect- it still needs to be urgently addressed.

“Our assessment teams are now in Sittwe and Kyau Pyau checking on any new needs arising from the relocations. Oxfam also plans to strengthen our existing work on preparedness and disaster risk reduction. Our experience shows that supporting women to take a leading role in community preparedness can significantly help communities to protect themselves against monsoons and natural disasters. There is now a real opportunity for the Myanmar government to work more closely with all concerned actors on disaster preparedness, to minimize the impact of future disasters.”

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