Mozambique: Little Money for Cyclone Recovery

At the donors conference in Beira in May 2019, $1.4 bn was pledged for reconstruction from cyclones Idai and Kenneth - both record breaking cyclones made worse by global heating. But of that money, only $193 mn will be available this year, said Minister of Public Works Joao Machatine after the 10 March Council of Ministers meeting. Based on the pledges, contracts have been signed for $706 mn of works, but the money is not there, he said.

One of the projects being deferred again is the rebuilding of ten kilometres of coastal protection which separates the city of Beira from the Indian Ocean. Of the $193 mn available, $138 mn will be for infrastructure and $55 mn for economic recovery, including support for private companies damaged by the cyclones, and for institutional support. (AIM 11 Mar)

Informal traders win again

Faced with poverty, an estimated 4000 people sell goods on the streets and pavements of Maputo, particularly in the downtown "baixa", where they sometimes block the pavement completely. Each new mayoral administration tries to force the traders into formal markets. This happened again on Friday (13 Mar). After a long campaign saying the informal trading would be banned after 12 March, police attacked the traders on Friday. The traders responded with force, throwing up barricades, burning types, and attacking some baixa shops and buses. Police dogs were used, and tear gas and pepper gas were fired indiscriminately. By Monday, the informal traders had returned to business as usual. (AIM 13, 16 Mar) Matthew Hill of Bloomberg posted videos of the protests and response: https://twitter.com/mattstephenhill/status/1238394066087395328

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