Donors pledge $1.2bn in cyclone aid for Mozambique

10 Jun 19

Mozambique’s development partners have pledged $1.2bn for reconstruction efforts following devastating cyclones in the country earlier this year.

The total has emerged from an international pledging conference in the city of Beira that brought together multilateral development agencies, international organisations, governments, the private sector and civil society groups to pool resources.

The African Development Bank will make $50m available immediately for Mozambique – the country most badly affected by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth – as part of a regional response programme that will also benefit Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Appealing to development partners to support Mozambique’s reconstruction, president Filipe Nyusi pledged: “Mozambique will lead the international efforts to mitigate climate change through better management of its forests and oceans, and will develop financial instruments to reduce climate risk for the communities.”

Cyclone Idai left more than 1,000 people dead and thousands more missing across Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

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.

Then in April, Cyclone Kenneth struck, causing further devastation in Mozambique as well as the Comoro Islands and Tanzania.

The combined impact of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth affected the livelihoods of 2 million people in Mozambique alone. Around 140,000 people were displaced, 240,000 families had their homes totally or partially destroyed, and 1.4 million people were left in need of urgent food assistance.

A post-disaster needs assessment led by the government of Mozambique and supported by the AfDB, the European Union, the World Bank and the United Nations, put the cost of reconstruction at $3.2bn for Mozambique alone.

The call for help in Beira – which was badly affected by the storms – received a strong response from development partners, whose pledges total $1.2bn.

The $50m to be made immediately available for Mozambique by the AfDB is one element of the Bank’s multi-layered approach to the recovery effort, which includes emergency life-saving support and help in accessing financial products for climate risk management.

Pietro Toigo, AfDB country manager for Mozambique, said: “The current pledge is an initial contribution to reconnect communities to markets and services and kick-start livelihoods.

“The bank aims to be a long-term partner for the reconstruction of Mozambique, and to provide intellectual and technical leadership to the reconstruction effort.”

  • 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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