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Children Hit By Cyclone Amphan Even More Vulnerable To COVID-19

Children in India and Bangladesh are even more vulnerable to COVID-19 after Cyclone Amphan destroyed the homes and livelihoods of thousands of families.

The most powerful cyclone to strike the two countries in 20 years, Amphan claimed more than 100 lives and forced more than 3 million people into storm shelters. Many survivors are now worried about contracting COVID-19 after being confined in cramped quarters.

Many coastal and low-lying areas are still flooded following heavy rains. The cyclone blew roofs off thousands of homes and collapsed embankments, inundating vast areas of farmland with seawater, ruining crops, and decimating livelihoods.

Even the most minimal impact of Cyclone Amphan could increase long-term vulnerabilities for the rural poor given the COVID-19 crisis.

In India, poor farmers in the low-lying Basanti area suffered some of the worst devastation. “The marginalised and impoverished vulnerable communities here were already facing the double threat of COVID-19 and ever-worsening climate change” said Franklin Jones, head of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs with World Vision India.

In the world’s largest refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the storm completely destroyed almost 1,500 homes.

"Cox's Bazar was spared a direct hit this time, but we still have nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees living in bamboo-and-tarp shelters three years after they fled Myanmar,” said Rachel Wolff, Director for World Vision’s Rohingya Refugee Response in Bangladesh. “We may not be so lucky next time and loss of life could be catastrophic if more isn't done to find durable solutions."

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in both India and Bangladesh, hampering emergency aid efforts.

Cyclone relief and early recovery response will be integrated into World Vision’s ongoing COVID-19 response in both countries, which has so far reached 2.7 million people, including 1.1 million children.

 

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