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Statement from A4EP on Cyclone IDAI Response

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Cyclone IDAI made landfall during the night of 14 to 15 March 2019, bringing torrential rains and winds to the Provinces of Zambezia, Manica, Sofala and Inhambane, Mozambique.
Based on the preliminary information, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been affected. it is estimated that 600,000 people are severely affected by Cyclone IDAI, including 100,000 people already affected by flooding in early March in the Provinces of Tete and Zambezia. While the full impact of the cyclone will be determined by rapid inter-sectorial needs assessments, it is imperative to act now on a no regrets basis to reach those hardest-hit by the storm.
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, known as CERF, has allocated $20 million to ramp up the humanitarian response across the three countries. The UK is donating almost $24 million, the EU close to $4 million, and the African Union $350,000. Tanzania said it was sending urgent relief supplies, including tonnes of medicine and food. The United Nations and humanitarian partners in Mozambique appeal for US$40.8 million to provide critical emergency relief to 400,000 people who have been affected by Tropical Cyclone IDAI.
Following the red alert issued by the Government of Mozambique on 12 March 2019, and its appeal for international assistance, the UN and its humanitarian partners are mobilizing to support the Government response. Emerging donors like India have also sent naval ships along with medicines, dry provisions, ready-to-eat meals, daily essentials and clothing.
Speaking during a high-level policy dialogue on capitalizing on the nexus between climate change and public budget for resilient economies in Africa, Ms. Songwe said the trail of destruction left by Cyclone IDAI was devastating. She called on the continent to seriously start prioritising emergency preparedness and disaster planning, “When we talk about the new climate economy it is almost impossible not to think about what is happening on our continent right now. We probably have lost about a billion dollars in Mozambique,
Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Malawi in terms of resources, in particular the Beira port, the signature port of Mozambique, is essentially today almost a thing of the past because of cyclone Idai,” said Ms. Songwe.
It is heartening to see that many international organisations and countries are supporting the governments in providing immediate relief. We do hope that their role would continue during recovery and rehabilitation phases. We stand in solidarity with the people affected by Cyclone IDAI. Therefore, it is quite timely to remind all the stakeholders that this is yet another opportunity to show better delivery on the commitments made in the Grand Bargain and Charter 4 Change to strengthen the local response mechanism, and local and national actors.
A4EP would like to urge the humanitarian actors to keep in mind and ensure that local and national actors and communities affected by the Cyclone IDAI are the centre of the decision-making processes. Their participation in design and implementation of the IDAI response is key to a more accountable and sustainable response.

  1. The international headquarters of the GB and C4C signatories should remind their national offices about the commitments they are expected to adhere
  2. Unless it could be justified, responses of national offices of international organisations should be through partnership with homegrown local and national actors. This should be an opportunity to reinforce, not replace
  3. It is of utmost importance not only to pass on 25% and 20% of humanitarian funding by the GB and C4C signatories respectively, but also try to exceed it whenever and wherever possible
  4. C4C signatories should constantly highlight the role of their local partners in all media communications
  5. Better partnership modalities with local and national actors must be explored by the donors and intermediary agencies, instead of merely transferring implementation related risks to them through sub-contracting
  6. In order to seek durable solutions, the recognition of the impacts of climate change is crucial. Not only is climate resilience important for planning for disasters but it is also important because we now know more of these extreme climate events will come. The response and recovery needs to plan to ensure that risk management or risk mitigation is factored into disaster recovery. it is important to work through humanitarian-development nexus by ensuring multi-year financing, beyond short term humanitarian funding