United Nations, June 2: Mozambique and its people desperately need support to recover from the powerful back-to-back cyclones that recently tore through the southern African country, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told a donors conference.
The Government-led International Pledging Conference, which opened on Friday, wrapped up on Saturday in the coastal city of Beira, one of the areas worst hit by cyclones Idai and Kenneth in March and April respectively, killing hundreds and impacting close to two million.
The post-disaster needs assessment carried out by the UN Development Program (UNDP), the European Union, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, estimated that Mozambique would need some $3.2 billion for post-cyclone reconstruction in affected areas.Cyclone Kenneth made landfall on April 25 inflicting substantial damage to the economic and social life in the Cabo Delgado province. With maximum sustained wind speed of 225 km/hour and gusts that reached 270km /hour, the storm ripped off roofs and generated heavy rainfall resulting in massive flooding.
That disaster came as the country was still reeling in less than two months after Cyclone Idai devastated central provinces, killing more than 600 people, unleashing a cholera epidemic, wiping out crops in the Mozambique’s breadbasket, forcing a million people to rely on food assistance to survive, and causing massive destruction of homes, schools and infrastructure in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Sending warm greetings to the Conference, Guterres said in a message that he was certain he shared with all a deep sense of distress at the loss of life, the devastation and the suffering caused by the deadly cyclones.
He reiterated his condolences and deep solidarity with the Government and the people of Mozambique, especially the communities most affected by these natural disasters. (UNI)