As Cyclone Mahasen makes initial landfall in the Bay of Bengal, millions of people in the region are bracing themselves for the impact of the storm which is expected to deliver its full blow on Thursday afternoon.
For several days now, in anticipation of Mahasen’s arrival, WFP has mobilized staff, logistics infrastructure and food supplies in areas likely to be affected in both Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Nearly 125,000 displaced people in and around Sittwe in Rakhine State, Myanmar have already received their food rations for May, ensuring that they have enough food stocks both during and after the aftermath of the storm. (Watch related video here:http://goo.gl/9yRP7)
In addition, WFP has 4,000 tons of rice available in Rakhine, which would sufficiently cover the needs of nearly 300,000 people for a month.
Photo: WFP Bangladesh/Hafez Ahmed
In Bangladesh, 130 tons of ready-to-eat WFP High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) have been pre-positioned in hard-to-reach areas, including major islands off the coast, and are on stand-by for immediate distribution, in case it’s needed.
WFP has also prepared different scenarios of the likely areas and populations affected to estimate the number of people who would be in need of emergency food assistance. As a result of this, WFP and NGO partners in Bangladesh have more than 770 tons of HEBs ready in locations most likely to be affected to cover the immediate food and nutrition needs of more than 1.1 million people.
WFP is actively monitoring the situation as it develops, keeping the WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Subang Malaysia on alert to support any emergency operation in the aftermath of Cyclone Mahasen.
The UNHRD network holds an emergency stock of high-energy biscuits as well as vital operations support equipment that can be dispatched at 48 hours notice.