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Pope urges access for Cyclone Mocha relief

At least 800,000 people in Myanmar need emergency food aid and other assistance
Pope Francis delivers the Regina Coeli prayer on May 28 from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St. Peter's Square at The Vatican

Pope Francis delivers the Regina Coeli prayer on May 28 from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St. Peter's Square at The Vatican. (Photo: AFP)

Published: May 29, 2023 08:42 AM GMT
Updated: May 29, 2023 08:44 AM GMT

Pope Francis on May 28 appealed for humanitarian organizations to be given access to areas hit by a deadly cyclone which tore through parts of Myanmar and Bangladesh two weeks ago.

"I appeal to those responsible to facilitate the access of humanitarian aid," the pontiff said at the end of the Angelus prayer in the Vatican.

"And I appeal to the sense of human solidarity and ecclesial solidarity to come to the aid of these brothers and sisters of ours," he added.

Cyclone Mocha brought lashing rain and winds of 195 kilometres (120 miles) per hour to Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh on May 14, collapsing buildings and turning streets into rivers.

The United Nations on may 24 called for Myanmar's military rulers to open up and ensure life-saving aid can get to parts of the Southeast Asian that need it.

It says at least 800,000 people in Myanmar need emergency food aid and other assistance.

Myanmar's junta declared Rakhine state a natural disaster after the cyclone hit.

The western state is home to hundreds of thousands of the persecuted Rohingya minority, many of whom live in displacement camps following decades of ethnic conflict.

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