Photograph — Washington Post

International donors have pledged the sum of $1.2 billion to help restore livelihoods and rebuild areas and infrastructure destroyed by cyclones Kenneth and Idai in Mozambique. This was announced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday Sunday, June 2, 2019. The pledge was made at a two-day international pledging conference in the central Mozambique city of Beira with development partners committing financial and technical resources to aid recovery interventions in the aftermath of the devastation faced in March and April.

According to a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) conducted by the Government of Mozambique in partnership with the UN, the European Union, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, Mozambique needs $3.2 billion for post-cyclone recovery and reconstruction in the social, productive, and infrastructure sectors in areas affected in the Sofala, Manica, Tete, Zambezia, Inhambane, Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces. The tropical cyclones which struck Mozambique these past months are some of the most devastating to ever hit south-eastern Africa; sweeping through Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe the storm caused a lot of damage killing hundreds and impacting close to three million people.  

“The important point coming out of this conference is that this recovery needs to be resilient. Mozambique is prone to climate change disasters, and those cyclones were not a one-time event – unfortunately – and the probability of these disasters recurring, many times in the future, is very high,” said Noura Hamladji, UNDP Africa Bureau Regional Director. The Mozambique Government will establish a Disaster Management Fund that includes a contribution to its capitalization of 0.1 per cent of the State budget and contributions from partners. There will be regular external audits to ensure transparency and accountability.

The Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres reiterated in a message his condolences and deep solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique, especially the communities most affected. He further expressed sincere appreciation to all those who have contributed and appealed for more support of the international community. “The means at our disposal are not at all enough. We face enormous challenges: people’s basic needs remain unmet … this is the moment to translate into concrete gestures our solidarity with a country affected by one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in African history, which also warns us about the urgency of tackling climate change,” he said.

The Beira conference had about 700 participants, including representatives from the United Nations agencies, the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and others. Mozambique was represented at the highest level with the attendance of senior Government Ministers, the Prime Minister and the Head of State, H.E. Felipe Jacinto Nyusi.

In April, before Cyclone Kenneth, the World Bank called for global collaboration to raise $282 million to fund emergency assistance for the victims and countries hit by Cyclone Idai stating that the cyclone damaged the infrastructure corridor shared by the Mozambican port of Beira with Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, disrupting regional trade. The global lender also said it will cost the three countries over $2 billion in recovery costs for the infrastructure and livelihood impacts.

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