(AfDB ) - An international pledging conference to finance the reconstruction of parts of cyclone-hit Mozambique took place in the city of Beira on 31 May and 1 June.
Multi-lateral development agencies, international organizations, government representatives, the private sector and civil society gathered at the conference, aimed at soliciting financial support for the effort.
The combined impact of Cyclone Idai in central Mozambique on 14 March 2019 and Cyclone Kenneth in the north a few weeks later, caused widespread destruction and 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 1.4million people were left in need of urgent food assistance. Damage to socio-economic infrastructure was significant, with 3,500km of national roads and 10,200 km of electricity distribution lines significantly damaged. Almost 1,400 school buildings were affected.
A post-disaster needs assessment, led by the Government of Mozambique and supported by the African Development Bank, the European Union, the World Bank and the United Nations, assessed the cost of reconstruction at $3.2 billion for Mozambique alone.
In his keynote address, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi appealed to development partners to support the country’s reconstruction: “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.”
The call received a strong response from development partners, who pledged a total of $1.2 billion to the reconstruction efforts. The African Development Bank will make $50 million immediately available for Mozambique, as part of a regional response program that will also benefit Malawi and Zimbabwe, the other two countries affected by Idai. This contribution is one element of the Bank’s multi-layered approach to the recovery effort, which also includes emergency life-saving support; technical support for accessing financial products for climate risk management and advice for a resource mobilization drive.
Speaking on behalf of African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, Pietro Toigo, 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.”