WASHINGTON, April 11th, 2019 – World Bank Governors representing Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, international partners including the World Bank, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), convened today in a high-level round table on recovery and resilience in the three southern African countries affected by Cyclone Idai. The roundtable was held at the World Bank as part of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings.
Participants discussed the importance of a well-coordinated and rapid humanitarian and development response to the affected countries. They reaffirmed their commitment to working together to improve climate resilience for infrastructure – schools, health centers, roads, bridges, water supply systems, and energy distribution networks – particularly in areas prone to flooding and cyclones. They also emphasized better natural resource management, improvements to regional forecasting, crisis preparedness and increased use of disaster risk financing tools.
Discussions underscored the need for a regional approach to longer term reconstruction and development, given the likely ripple effects of the cyclone on the entire region. The cyclone damaged the infrastructure corridor connecting the Mozambican port of Beira with Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, disrupting regional trade and supplies of fuel, wheat and other goods.
While the damage and recovery needs assessment is ongoing, early estimates point to over US$2.0 billion in recovery costs for the infrastructure and livelihood impacts of Cyclone Idai on Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. To date, about three million people have been affected, with near total damage in the worst affected areas.
The World Bank has mobilized substantial resources using existing projects in Malawi and Mozambique to provide support for urgent road and water supply repairs, sanitation and hygiene, disease surveillance and prevention, agriculture, and food security. The World Bank management will seek access to additional resources including by working with donors to mobilize trust fund support, and by mobilizing through the International Development Association (IDA) Crisis Response Window (CRW) for medium to long-term recovery and reconstruction efforts to eligible countries.
All participants acknowledged the importance of global collaboration on recovery and resilient reconstruction for poor and vulnerable populations in the face of climate and disaster risk and agreed on the importance of continuing this critical discussion including at upcoming high-level events in 2019.