Maputo — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Mozambican government under which it will provide 72.2 million dollars for reconstruction in the areas hit by cyclones Idai and Kenneth, in March and April respectively.
Signing for the government, the Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine, noted that the signing ceremony occurred less than 24 hours after the Mozambican government approved the full post-cyclone reconstruction programme.
"The programme meets all the needs that have arisen in the wake of the cyclones", said Machatine. The support from the UNDP was opportune, since "the country must deal with many pressing needs, if it is get through this situation rapidly".
He also praised the UNDP's initiative to create a "recovery and resilience mechanism", for Mozambique. A top priority in this, the Minister explained, is "immediately creating the conditions so that people affected by the cyclones can rapidly recover, because everything else will only be possible with the human work force in good condition".
"To speak about infrastructures without looking at the social component, would be putting the cart before the horse", he warned.
Other parts of the agreement, he continued, concerned quickly rebuilding the many thousands of houses that had been completely destroyed by the cyclones, and ensuring that women are fully involved in social development.
For his part, the UNDP interim representative in Maputo, Alfredo Teixeira, said that, because of Mozambique's climate vulnerability, true resilience had to built in the areas affected by disasters.
"We reaffirm our commitment and our support for this initiative", he declared. The agreement would become a corner stone "for transformational change, particularly in the communities affected by the cyclones".
The signature of the agreement, he added, "bears strong witness to the lasting partnership which the UNDP and the United Nations system have been building in Mozambique".