India: COVID-19 Global Health Emergency Response – Asia-Pacific Region Situation Report (May 22nd, 2020)

Asia

As of May 22, 2020, here are some highlights in Asia Pacific response:

  • Over 19 million people reached, including 4.2 million children
  • Working with over 2,800 faith leaders
  • Assisting more than 3, 500 medical facilities
  • US$7.4 million cash and voucher assistance distributed reaching more than 480,000 people
  • Over 550,000 people reached with food distribution assistance

Cyclone Amphan Update

“Every year, we face cyclones and we need to go to cyclone shelters. This time we didn’t go because of the fear of coronavirus,” said Urmi, 12, whose village is in southern Bangladesh. “The space was crowded, and most people did not have masks. My family took shelter in a school and we found it safer.”

Cyclone Amphan, one of the strongest storms in the Bay of Bengal, in decades, claimed over 100 lives and forced over 3 million people to evacuate to safer areas. The cyclone battered coastal and low-lying areas of Khulan and Barisal division in Bangladesh, and the states of Odisha and West Bengal in India.

An estimated 13 million people are affected in India, and around 2.5 million in Bangladesh. For months, experts have warned against major climate-related disasters during COVID response, and WV has been adapting monsoon season preparedness.
The relief response for Cyclone Amphan will coordinate with WV’s ongoing COVID-19 response in both countries, which has so far reached 2.7 million people, including 1.1 million children. Yet, both countries also recognise operational challenges in this context. Also, even the most minimal impact of Amphan could increase long-term vulnerabilities for the rural poor, given the COVID-19 crisis.

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