African countries receive Cyclone Idai funds

7 May 19
The World Bank is channelling a further $545m to Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe to help them cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.

It has activated the International Development Association ‘crisis response window’ to provide additional funding following one of the southern hemisphere’s worst storms on record.

The resources are in addition to nearly $150m recently made available from existing projects, bringing to $700m World Bank support to the three countries’ recovery efforts.

Cyclone Idai caused catastrophic damage earlier this year that affected millions of people, and this tragedy has been compounded by Cyclone Kenneth,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass, following a tour of affected areas in Beira, Mozambique. 

“The World Bank Group is working closely with our partners to help the population recover from these terrible storms, build back stronger than before, and improve countries’ resilience to natural disasters.”

The cyclone in March left more than 1,000 people dead and thousands more missing across the three African countries, with Mozambique hit hardest.

At least 602 people died in Mozambique as a result of strong winds and severe flooding, which also left hundreds of thousands in urgent need of assistance and caused a cholera outbreak.

Total damage caused by Idai across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Malawi has been estimated at $2bn.

Mozambique will receive $350m in CRW financing to re-establish its water supply, rebuild infrastructure, and support disease prevention, food security, and early warning systems.

Malawi will receive $120m to restore agricultural livelihoods, reconstruct infrastructure, and support disease surveillance, and the World Bank will allocate up to $75m to UN agencies to support Zimbabwe.

The World Bank is also working with Mozambique and Comoros to respond to the latest cyclone,  ‘Kenneth’, which was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique since modern records began.

The IMF has been criticised by the Jubilee Debt Campaign after advancing an emergency loan of $118.2m to Mozambique following Cyclone Idai having ruled that the storm was not damaging enough for the country to qualify for debt relief.

Sarah-Jayne Clifton, director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: “It is a shocking indictment of the international community that a country as impoverished as Mozambique has to borrow from international institutions in order to cope with the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai.

“Emergency grants should be available to all impoverished countries in response to disasters like Idai, especially those linked to the climate breakdown primarily caused by richer countries in the global North”. 

  • Gavin O'Toole, expert on Latin America
    Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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