Funding Flood Disaster after Cyclone Idai
By admin April 8, 2019

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The Idai Cyclone has caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Idai struck the coast of Mozambique, near Beira on March 14, 2019. Weeks after the cyclone hit, flood waters receded to show the landscape of destroyed houses, roads, and crops just before harvest. The confirmed total number of deaths is still unknown, but so far more than 1,000 people have died, and thousands of people are missing. Local and international relief efforts are springing into action to focus efforts on food provisions, temporary housing and medical care for the hundreds of thousands of people left homeless.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of 5 April, there were a total of 2,426 cases of cholera in Mozambique. Almost 1 million doses of oral cholera vaccines arrived from the World Health Organization. Dr. Ilesh Jani, director general of the National Institute of Health in Mozambique, is helping to coordinate the vaccine campaign. The target population is 870,000 people that will be distributed the vaccines in health facilities within displacement camps. Vaccines will also be distributed by mobile teams around schools, markets and other location where people gather.

Cholera is a bacterium that is easily transmitted to people when they consume contaminated water. The floods have severely damaged the sewerage pipelines. Dr. Ilesh Jani says Cholera is not an unknown disease in Mozambique and there have been outbreaks before, but he is confident that the outbreak can be contained. So far, 217,000 people were vaccinated, a quarter of their target population.

The African Union sent an initial $350,000 in aid, and the African Development Bank has committed to $100 million for comprehensive relief, reconstruction, and mitigation. USAID has provided nearly $3.6 million in support, including water, sanitation and hygiene resources and the U.S. military airlifted food and medical supplies. Of the needed $300 million in UN emergency funding, only $40 million is available. Nevertheless, aid delivery efforts have been hindered by road damage and flood waters.

Flooding is far from a new phenomenon, but climate change and its impacts may still have some people stopping in their tracks. Climate change causes extreme weather patterns making storms like Idai more extreme. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, wealthy developed countries agreed to take the lead on combating climate change. Some countries are making progress reducing fossil fuel usage, but others are going in the opposite direction. Most pressing is the issue of natural disaster preparedness, making countries more climate resilient is the goal, but that starts with a greater emphasis on prevention and preparedness measures for areas susceptible to floods.


For more information:

Mozambique Health Officials Race To Vaccinate Against Cholera After Cyclone Idai

In the Wake of Cyclone Idai, the North Has a Climate Debt to Pay

Mozambique: Cyclone Idai &Floods Situation Report No.4 (as of 5 April 2019)

Cyclone Idai Reveals Africa’s Vulnerabilities

African Development Bank announces US$100 million comprehensive relief, reconstruction, and mitigation plan for Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe



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