World Vision warns millions of children at risk from Cyclone Fani

World Vison is ready to respond to Cyclone Fani which continues to intensify, threatening millions of families and their children in Bangladesh and India.

Major coastal cities and communities in Bangladesh and India are among those in the path of the storm, which is forecast to make landfall in eastern India on Friday. Ahead of a severe cyclone, evacuation has started for thousands of people from areas along India’s eastern coastline.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) says Cyclonic Storm Fani is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976.

“Cyclone Fani is the strongest recorded cyclone in years for this part of the world at this time of year. Tens of millions of people are in its path. We are extremely concerned about the impact on children and families living in coastal areas, where winds will be strongest, as well as those living in low lying areas that will be prone to flash-floods and landslides,” says World Vision Bangladesh National Director, Fred Witteeven.

Heavy rains are also forecast to lash the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, home to over 900,000 rohingya refugees in the coming days.

“World Vision has emergency supplies ready to go in the camps and we have had thousands of refugees working on improvements to camp roads and drains over the previous months. Nevertheless people are living in homes made of bamboo and on steep hillsides, which puts them at even greater risk,” says Mr Witteeven.

World Vision’s emergency response leaders in Bangladesh and India said World Vision is closely coordinating with other INGOs and government authorities, in their respective countries and are ready to respond.

“World Vision is well prepared to immediately respond to the needs of the communities when cyclone Fani makes landfall. Plans for immediate procurement and distribution of emergency relief material have also been made. All programmes where World Vision works, along the path of Cyclone Fani have been alerted and we have activated the disaster preparedness plans at the community-level. These grass-roots disaster management taskforce’s are the first responders and are trained by World Vision,” says World Vision India Interim Head of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs, Franklin Jones.

World Vision is strategically positioned and prepared to to mobilise quickly when the cyclone makes landfall.

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