Success of pledging conference marks the start of resilient reconstruction and recovery in Mozambique following the devastation caused by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which affected about 2.2 million people in March and April 2019. The event was held on 31 May and 1 June in the city of Beira, one of the areas most hit by cyclone Idai
(BEIRA, 3 June 2019) As well as renewing support to the Mozambican people as the country enters a post-disaster phase of reconstruction and recovery, the Conference addressed the most critical development, humanitarian and resilience issues affecting Mozambique following the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth and subsequent flooding. The Conference succeeded in mobilising pledges totaling USD 1.2 billion.
H.E. Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, emphasized that “we cannot forget to stress the crucial support and actions of the UN, especially the Word Food Programme, and of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the immediate humanitarian response after cyclones Idai and Kenneth - thank you for helping to save Mozambican lives”.
Ms. Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, International Labour Organization (ILO) Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Africa, affirmed that “although we may not be in the best position to contribute with funds today, we commit ourselves to continue supporting the Government of Mozambique with our innovative approaches, expertise and technical assistance. In the long term, we will continue to provide food assistance for the people in need; supporting them to regain access to health, education, shelter, water and sanitation as well as making sure that the most vulnerable, including pregnant and lactating mothers, internally displaced people, people with disabilities, women and children, are not left behind”.
Conference pledges and consensus-building discussions were informed by a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) – a comprehensive technical study conducted and led by the Government of Mozambique and supported by the UN, the European Union, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. According to the PDNA, Mozambique needs USD3.2 billion for post-cyclone recovery and reconstruction in the social, productive, and infrastructure sectors in areas affected in the Sofala, Manica, Tete, Zambezia, Inhambane, Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces. This includes important cross-cutting issues such as gender, the environment, employment and livelihoods, social protection and governance.
Ms. Ute Klamert, the World Food Proframme Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships and Governance, stated that “Investing in sustainable development is also investing in sustained peace. It means investing in basic services, bringing humanitarian and development agencies together, building effective and accountable institutions, protecting human rights, promoting social cohesion and diversity and moving to sustainable energy”. Ms. Klamert underlined that “we are here to respond to a crisis of devastating proportions, which will lead to prolonged hardship for those most affected at least until the next harvest. This calls for extraordinary partnerships”.
Sending warm greetings to the Conference on Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stressed in a message that while the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated USD 24 million to Mozambique, it was necessary to recognize that to face the scale of the disaster, large additional resources are needed. He also noted that in order to strengthen the response to the tragedy, the UN had launched an emergency humanitarian appeal of USD 282 million, which remains deeply underfunded. Against this background, Mr. Guterres reiterated his appeal to the generosity of the international community, saying “this is the moment to translate into concrete gestures our solidarity with a country affected by one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in African history – and which also warns us about the urgency of tackling climate change”. “This conference carries a message of hope to all Mozambicans, stressing that the international community is not neglecting their suffering, but diligently working hand in hand and in partnership with the Government of Mozambique to support the efforts of reconstruction and recovery and advancing the country’s inclusive development”, affirmed Mr.
Marcoluigi Corsi, UN Resident Coordinator a.i., Humanitarian Coordinator and UNICEF Representative in Mozambique. “The important point coming out of this conference is that this recovery needs to be resilient. Mozambique is prone to climate change disasters, and those cyclones were not a one-time event – unfortunately – and the probability of these disasters reoccurring, many times in the future, is very high”,said Noura Hamladji, UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Africa Bureau Regional Director. Ms. Hamladji added that “there is a need to ‘build back better’, to look at infrastructure, resilience of communities in a different way. This is what this conference is all about, over and above requesting the solidarity of the international community to fund the reconstruction”.
The role of the private sector in recovery and reconstruction was underscored at the conference, with participants noting that the sector itself was devastated by the cyclones. The sector appealed for flexible financing mechanisms and cooperation from multilaterals for credit facilities and the need to support cooperation between international and local companies.
In the joint statement of the conference, partners pledged to support capacity development of the Reconstruction Cabinet. The Cabinet is a multisectoral platform established by the Government to ensure transparency and accountability in the achievement of results, promote the development of norms for better reconstruction – building back better – and improve technical capacity to conduct feasibility studies and procurement, among others.
The well attended conference had about 700 participants, including representatives from multilateral and bilateral partners like UN agencies, the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and others. Mozambique was represented at the highest level with the attendance of senior Government Ministers, the Prime Minister and the Head of State, H.E. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi. The conference was organized by the Post-Cyclone Reconstruction Cabinet, recently established by the Government of Mozambique to facilitate the reconstruction of the affected areas and strengthening the resilience of communities.
For more information, please contact:
Helvisney Cardoso, SDG Coordination Officer UNRCO Maputo, Mozambique +258 84 0448997; firstname.lastname@example.org