WASHINGTON, September 27, 2013 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved emergency funds to support Mozambique’s efforts to strengthen and reinforce dykes, levees and dams after sudden and extreme flooding in early 2013 hit the lower Limpopo River Basin and other areas in southern Mozambique.
“The Mozambique Government has taken steps to incorporate climate change adaptation measures into their plans to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters,” said Laurence C. Clarke, the World Bank Country Director for Mozambique. “Today’s financing is part of a comprehensive range of interventions in Mozambique being supported around water resources, climate change, and disaster risk reduction and recovery.”
Today’s financing – a $US32 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA*) – will support Mozambique’s National Water Resources Development Flood Response project and provide additional funds to rehabilitate critically-damaged flood protection infrastructure.
Extreme flooding in January and February 2013 resulted in the loss of 113 lives, and over 170,000 people had to be evacuated, making this episode the worst disaster to hit Mozambique since the 2000 flooding.
“Mozambique ranks third among African countries most exposed to risks from extreme weather events. Each major shock can reduce GDP growth on average by 5.6%,” said Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director of Sustainable Development for the Africa Region. “The funds will boost the Government’s on-going efforts to build resiliency into their water infrastructure as a step toward preventing the next extreme weather event from turning into a natural disaster.”
In addition to supporting the emergency rehabilitation of prioritized dykes and levees, the financing will help immediate emergency measures on the Macarretane Barrage of the Limpopo River to ensure a flood protection platform in preparation for the next flood season (October-March). Longer-term interventions will support the redesign and reconstruction of flood-protection infrastructures required for improved resilience. An Integrated Flood Management and Mitigation plan for the lower Limpopo River basin will be developed together with associated emergency rehabilitation works.
“The floods damaged the country’s largest irrigation scheme (47,700 ha) and severely damaged health and education facilities, transport infrastructure and municipal water supply systems,” said Marcus Wishart, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project. “I welcome the opportunity to increase our support to the implementation of these flood protection measures and strengthen the development of water resources in Mozambique.”
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going toAfrica.