Statement: Cyclone Remal

29 May 2024

Thousands of children urgently need humanitarian assistance after Cyclone Remal tore through low-lying coastal areas of Bangladesh and Eastern India on Sunday.

We currently have a team conducting a rapid needs assessment in Bangladesh, but are concerned that children, especially girls, in Barguna, Barishal, Bhola, Khulna, Bagerhat, Shatkhira and Cox’s Bazar districts are particularly vulnerable after the region was hit by strong winds of 110/km hour, torrential rain and tidal surges.

Cyclone Remal, which flooded dozens of coastal villages, has forced more than 800,000 people across Bangladesh to evacuate their homes, closed schools and left around 150,000 houses damaged. Nearly 30 million people have also been left without power and communication.

Families left without power and communication

Kabita Bose, Country Director of Plan International Bangladesh, said: “The coastal areas of Bangladesh are highly vulnerable to extreme weather, which is becoming increasingly frequent and more damaging due to the climate crisis. The devastation that cyclones, heatwaves and other disasters cause to children’s lives is significant. Each event like this forces children to miss school, to leave their homes and relocate to temporary shelters, and increases the risk of gender-based violence, with girls often at highest risk.

“Working with the government, humanitarian partners and local communities, Plan International has been closely monitoring Cyclone Remal’s trajectory for the last two weeks, supporting evacuation efforts and providing mobile money transfers to the most vulnerable people in advance. Thanks to effectively early warning, planning, and action, we have been able to save many lives. But as a full picture of the damage emerges, it is clear that extensive support will be needed over the weeks and months to come to rebuild and to prepare communities to withstand future disasters.”

We have worked in Bangladesh for more than 30 years, and are appealing for 5 million euros in funding to scale up our humanitarian response to Cyclone Remal.