The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has agreed to provide Mozambique with 72.2 million dollars in financial assistance to support the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed by two deadly cyclones, Idai and Kenneth.
The cyclones battered the southern African nation early this year.
An agreement to that effect was formalised in the capital Maputo on Wednesday, 14 August 2019, between the Mozambican government, through the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources (MOPHRH), and UNDP, witnessed by the partners and staff of the two institutions.
Cyclone Kenneth crashed into the province of Cabo Delgado and flattened entire villages with winds of up to 280 kph, killing around 45 people. This came at the helm of Mozambique still struggling to deal with the impact 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.
Mozambique’s Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, João Machatine, said the act took place less than 24 hours after the cabinet approved the post-cyclone reconstruction program Idai and Kenneth.
“The program responds to all the needs that arose when these two phenomena occurred. This milestone that we are witnessing today is indeed in good time if we take into account the great needs facing the country so that it can quickly get out of this situation,” he said.
Machatine said the executive welcomed UNDP’s initiative to create Mozambique’s recovery and resilience mechanism.
“In this mechanism, there are three pillars that compete with the priorities. We immediately want to create conditions so that affected populations can quickly recover. Speaking of infrastructure without looking at the social component, we would be putting the cart in front of the oxen,” said Machatine, adding that the priority now is people.
Around three billion dollars is needed just to repair damage caused by Cyclone Idai in Sofala, Manica, Zambézia, Tete and northern Inhambane provinces,
Another component foreseen in the agreement, now signed, according to the minister, has to do with the responsibility of quickly building houses that have been completely destroyed, as well as valuing women in the process of social development.
Meanwhile, UNDP interim representative Alfredo Teixeira argues that due to Mozambique’s climate vulnerability it is necessary to build infrastructure with real resilience.
According to Alfredo Texeira, UNDP, in partnership with the United Nations system and development partners, is available to assist in materializing the transformational agenda for Mozambique.
“The signing of this program is a strong testimony to the partnership that UNDP and the United Nations system have been building with Mozambique,” stressed the interim UNDP representative.
The mechanism, now signed, will adopt a comprehensive approach to effectively address the needs of the disaster-affected population, in coordination with key actors and development partners, to ensure the rapid resumption of the development course in Mozambique.