(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta’s increasing obstruction of humanitarian aid in the month since Cyclone Mocha has put thousands of lives at immediate risk and endangered millions of people, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the cyclone made landfall on May 14, 2023, junta authorities have refused to authorize travel and visas for aid workers, release urgent supplies from customs and warehouses, or relax onerous and unnecessary restrictions on lifesaving assistance.
The persistence of Cyclone Mocha’s damage and resulting illness and deaths reflect the junta’s new as well as existing restrictions on aid. Donors, regional bodies, and the United Nations should press the junta to lift all restrictions on aid delivery without relenting on the need to hold junta officials responsible for past and ongoing human rights abuses.
“The junta’s moves to block aid have turned an extreme weather event into a man-made catastrophe,” said Shayna Bauchner, Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Donors should press the junta to drop their politically motivated obstruction and allow desperately needed aid to reach all cyclone survivors.”