WB commits to disburse US$75 million towards Zim’s Cyclone Idai victims

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By Alois Vinga

THE World Bank (WB), has committed to provide up to US$75 million, to support current efforts to restore normalcy in Zimbabwe’s Cyclone Idai affected areas.

In a statement, Friday the WB will has also pledged to give financial aid to Malawi and Mozambique two countries that bore the brunt of the devastating tropical storm in March.

“The World Bank intends to provide an exceptional allocation of up to US$75 million to select UN agencies to support the people of Zimbabwe also affected by Cyclone Idai. Funds will go toward a harmonised multi-sector livelihood support and recovery operation focused on social welfare and community interventions,” the statement said.

The global money lender said it has mobilised over half a billion dollars in new resources to help people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe affected by the impact of Cyclone Idai.

According to the WB, the International Development Association Crisis Response Window had also been activated to provide up to US$545 million in total for the three affected countries.

This, according to the statement is in addition to nearly US$150 million in resources that have recently been made available from existing projects. Together, total World Bank support to the three countries’ recovery reaches has hit around US$700 million.

Mozambique which was hardest hit by the cyclone, will receive US$350 million in financing to re-establish the water supply, rebuild damaged public infrastructure and crops, and support disease prevention, food security, social protection, and early warning systems in the impacted communities.

For neighboring Malawi, the WB will provide US$120 million in financing to restore agricultural livelihoods, reconstruct priority infrastructure, and support disease surveillance.

Cyclone Idai killed over 100 people in the three countries with around 500 having lost their lives in Zimbabwe.

It is the strongest cyclone on record in the southern hemisphere and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimates that 1.5 million children are in need of support.