Zimbabwe giving $100 million for Cyclone Idai victims, AfDB another $100 million
In an opinion piece in The Herald Ncube said that initially, the government had allocated $50 million but soon realised it was not enough and it doubled the figure.
"Cyclone Idai necessitated an urgent and immediate need for resource mobilisation to mitigate against its effects and support those affected. In the past, this would have meant further Government borrowing, leading to extra debt and long term economic ramifications.
"But fortunately, funds from the 2 percent tax that were put aside for exactly this eventuality, and became available exactly when they were most needed.
"We had initially earmarked $50 million to cover the emergency requirements for mitigating the impact of such a disaster, yet due to the increased performance of the fund, we were able to increase this allocation to a much needed $100million.
"These funds are being used to help those who most in need of our help."
Following the devastating impact of Cyclone Idai and the unprecedented loss of life and property in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, the African Development Bank has announced a multi-pronged response plan for the three countries.
The Bank will be providing emergency assistance to the affected countries and a medium-term plan to meet the reconstruction needs of the affected areas, including a climate risk insurance plan.
A high-level Bank delegation, headed by its Vice President for Corporate Services and Human Resources Mateus Magala, met with the President of Mozambique, H.E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, in the country’s capital, Maputo, to convey his sincere condolences on behalf of the Bank, and to announce the assistance.
Tropical Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. The long-lived storm caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and thousands more missing.
President Nyusi described the Bank’s intervention as unique and comprehensive, assuring that it would go a long way to help victims restart their lives. He particularly welcomed the Bank’s expression of leadership in helping the country get climate insurance.
“The African Development Bank is our Bank. I have been interacting with the Bank for years now, but the intensity of engagement with the Bank’s current leadership is even higher than usual,” said the President of Mozambique.
The first phase of the plan consists of a special relief fund of $1.7 million for Mozambique, specifically for the immediate humanitarian relief effort in the worst affected areas.
In the second phase, the Bank will set up a response and reconstruction programme, committing up to $100 million for Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe to kick-start economic recovery and rehabilitation.
A team is working to support the governments of the three countries, using the Bank’s convening power to assess needs, identify key reconstruction activities, and mobilise resources from the international community, global philanthropic organisations and the general public.
The Bank’s delegation also included: the Director General, Southern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office, Kapil Kapoor; Eugenio Paulo Maria, adviser to the Executive Director for Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola; and Pietro Toigo, the Bank’s Country Manager for Mozambique.
In a message to the affected countries, the Bank’s President Adesina said: “Our thoughts go to the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who have been so dramatically impacted by the cyclone. This natural disaster once more shows the importance of building climate-resilient economies in the African continent.”
The Bank is working to put together a long-term solution to climate risk in Southern Africa, a region subject to a continuous cycle of floods, droughts and cyclones, and one of the most vulnerable in the continent.
Speaking shortly after meeting with the Mozambique President, Bank Vice-President Mateus Magala said: "We would like to rebuild and modernise this corridor to be more resilient and to energise the region's economic activities without climate pressure or any other constraints”.
" He added: "Mozambique has been the centre of the cyclone demonstration, but Zimbabwe and Malawi are also affected, so we will mobilize more resources for the reconstruction and modernization of infrastructures in the region."
To start the implementation plans, the Bank’s delegation met with the Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Joao Osvaldo, the Minister of Finance and Governor of the Bank, Adriano Maleiane, and the Minister for Land, Environment, and Rural Development, Celso Correia.
Hundreds of thousands of people are in need of food, water and shelter after Cyclone Idai battered Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
As of Friday, at least 843 people had been reported killed by the storm, the flooding it caused and heavy rains before it hit. ■