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UN secretary-general determined to get post-cyclone rebuilding funds from donors

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has pledged to rally a group of 21 countries and international institutions to raise the promised 1.2 billion dollars to rebuild after cyclones Kenneth and Idai in Mozambique.

In May 2019, international donors pledged to contribute 1.2 billion dollars, less than half the amount the government says is needed to help rebuild areas and infrastructure destroyed by the cyclones.

The pledges came at the end of an International Conference of Donors that drew around 700 participants from international organizations, donors, the private sector and civil society to help the city of Beira, one of the areas worst hit by the cyclones.

Mozambique needs 3.2 billion dollars for post-cyclone reconstruction in the provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete, Zambézia, Inhambane Nampula and Cabo Delgado.

“Many states and institutions said that the amount announced was limited to the first contribution and that they were willing to channel more donations,” Guterres is quoted as saying by state Radio Mozambique on Saturday, 13 July 2019, at the end of his visit to some sites and infrastructure affected by Idai in the regional capital of Sofala.

“We will continue to mobilize donors to keep this support, ” Guteres said.

Cyclone Kenneth flattened entire villages in the province of Cabo Delgado, with winds of up to 280 kph killing around 45 people while Mozambique was still reeling from the devastating aftermath of Cyclone Idai, which hammered the country’s central region just six weeks earlier.

More than 1 000 people were killed across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi when Cyclone Idai, the worst cyclone in decades, lashed its eastern Indian Ocean coast with heavy winds and rains in mid-March.

Guteres said “in collaboration with the Mozambican authorities, we will do everything to ensure that the promised money is disbursed quickly and that what has been promised is added to an effective reconstruction.”

On climate change, which scientists believe is at the root of the natural disasters that hit Mozambique, the UN chief revealed that he is preparing a world summit to be held in September where this would be discussed.

“I was on the small Caribbean islands where brutal destruction occurred. The Caribbean also does not contribute to global warming. I am now in Mozambique and, once again, Mozambique does not contribute to global warming and is the second country in the world most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. The next summit must commit itself to not let global warming go beyond a degree and a half until the end of the century” he said.

Guterres began a two-day working visit to Mozambique on Thursday, 11 July 2019, in response to an invitation from Mozambique’s President, Filipe Nyusi.


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