Mozambique: Cyclone Damage Assessment to Be Complete in Three Weeks

Maputo — The Mozambican government intends to conclude within three weeks its assessment of the damage caused by cyclone Idai, which struck the central provinces in mid-March, announced the Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine, on Tuesday.

He was speaking in Maputo at the opening of a seminar on the assessment of post-disaster need. During the two day seminar, technical staff from the central, district and municipal bodies will receive capacity building on universally accepted methodologies which Mozambique can tap into in its attempts to raise funds for the reconstruction phase.

Machatine told those attending the seminar that their mission would not end with the survey of the damage. They were expected to cooperate over the longer term with the reconstruction office, and to prepare the international donors' conference, scheduled for the last week in May.

The sectors affected by the disaster are complementary, said the Minister - rebuilding social and economic infrastructures and repairing the human fabric of the devastated areas must go hand in hand.

"Whenever we can intervene in actions concerning the development of human capital, we have to include the components of resilience", said Machatine, "based on the country's own history in recent years, and on the experience that our partners bring from other countries".

He stressed the inevitability of tackling the problem of adapting the country to the effects of climate change.

The representative of the European Union at the seminar, Antonio Gaspar, declared that, although many people in central Mozambique remain in need, and immediate aid will continue, "what is most important is to start thinking about reconstruction".

The capacity building, he said, concerns the international methodology launched by the EU, the UN and the World Bank in order to assess needs jointly, and obtain a coherent and joint response "under the leadership of the Mozambican government, but obviously with the support of the international partners".

Gaspar pointed to the need for a unified response and a single assessment of needs, and said this model had worked well in earlier crises, as in Haiti and Myanmar.

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