On Thursday 20 May 2020 Cyclone Amphan hit India and Bangladesh, with heavy rainfall and winds of more than 100mph to areas already affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
Rushanara Ali MP said:
‘I’m very concerned that countries such as Bangladesh and India, who are already under enormous pressure managing the covid-19 pandemic, have now been hit by Cyclone Amphan. The Bangladeshi and Indian authorities have already had to evacuate over 2.8 million people from coastal areas. This is catastrophic timing, this cyclone will only bring further suffering and destruction to these nations.
In addition, the world’s largest refugee settlement, Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh hosts around one million Rohingya refugees. Tightly-packed, make-shift shelters are precariously built on ground which is at high risk of mudslides and floods, making them particularly vulnerable. This, along with the fact that over 300 refugees rescued from boats at sea, are being housed on the remote silt island Bhasan Char, means this is a looming humanitarian disaster.
This is a stark reminder that it is developing countries who face the brunt of climate change. The UK, and international community must do more to support developing countries through the pandemic, and help them to cope with the effects of climate change.'