12 April 2019

Southern Africa: SADC Needs N$4.2 Billion for Cyclone Idai Aftermath

Windhoek — The Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) needs an estimate of N$4.2 billion to provide a coordinated regional response action to meet the immediate humanitarian needs and early recovery actions following the devastating tropical cyclone Idai that hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The impacts of cyclone Idai have led to the declaration of states of emergency in the three countries.

To date, about 839 lives have been lost in the three affected countries, 2,347 people have been injured and nearly 3 million people have been affected.

Namibian President Hage Geingob, who is also Sadc chairperson, yesterday launched the Sadc Regional Humanitarian Floods Appeal in Response to tropical cyclone Idai.

The overall objective of the appeal is to provide a coordinated regional response action to meet the immediate humanitarian needs and early recovery actions underpinned by the five strategic objectives, the chairman said.

Among the five strategic objectives, there is a key one which aims to strengthen coordination capacity at national and regional levels.

This objective outlines six sectors, which requires approximately N$4.2 billion in total to assist the affected people in the three hit Sadc nations.

These are agriculture and food security which needs about N$2.67 billion (U$205,43 million), protection needs about N$219.96 million (U$16,92 million), which requires an estimate of N$389.48 million (U$29,96 million) health and nutrition requires about N$ 645.19 million (U$49,63 million), education need an estimate of N$274.82 million (U$21,14 million) and an estimated amount of N$3.9 million (U$300 000) is need for coordination.

Geingob said the cyclone has been classified as the worst cyclone to hit the Sadc region in recent history.

The cyclone also resulted in extensive damage to infrastructure as more than 3,344 classrooms have been destroyed, affecting more than 150,854 pupils. In the wake of the cyclone, 317 accommodation centres have been established, currently housing about 201,476 people.

Nearly 778,822 hectares of cropland and crops have been destroyed, which will worsen the already drought compromised food security situation in the affected areas.

Access to healthcare has been disrupted as more than 54 health facilities were destroyed by the cyclone. The lack of access due to damaged road infrastructure and flooded areas impeded the provision of assistance to the affected communities.

"Due to the severe and devastating impacts of cyclone Idai, about three million people require immediate humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, clothing, potable water, sanitation and medical support, considering the threat for cholera and other diarrheal infections, malaria and water borne and water related diseases," Geingob noted.

He said the support would also aid in early recovery actions in the affected districts, thereby helping to them to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and economies.

On behalf of Sadc, Geingob spoke on the plight of affected citizens.

"We must ensure that our people do not only survive the threat posed by the cyclone and the subsequent floods, but bounce back better and stronger. This appeal is meant to compliment the efforts of individual member states, including national partners, as a great deal has been done by the countries," Geingob remarked.

He assured that the region will continue to support the affected member states resilience building efforts.

Further, he thanked these countries and other Sadc member states as well as other regional and international stakeholders for supporting the affected nations.

Moreover, he appealed to the international partners as well as the regional member states to assist the region to prevent loss of lives and rebuild the livelihoods of the affected communities in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Sadc Secretariat executive secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax the appeal highlights early recovery actions, and further recommends on humanitarian and resilience efforts, but most importantly it emphasizes the process of drawing lessons for better preparedness, response and coordination at both national and regional levels.

Following the devastating impacts of cyclone Idai, Geingob mandated the Secretariat to develop a regional appeal.

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