Brazil Extends US$50 000 To Cyclone Idai Hit Communities

THE World Food Program (WFP) has received a US$50 000 Cyclone Idai recovery financial injection from the government of Brazil, which will go towards addressing the cyclone affected communities’ health and nutrition needs.

By Michael Gwarisa

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the financial contribution from Brazil, WFP Representative, Mr  Eddie Rowe applauded Brazil for their gesture and hinted that they will be rolling out phase 3 of their resilience support program in August which targets to reach not less than 15 000 households and will focus on early recovery resilience activities.

With the devastating impact of the Cyclone, the strongest Zimbabwe has ever experienced, and tackling climate change and addressing route causes of people vulnerability. We have an uphill task in Zimbabwe.

“WFP together with the government and partners responded swiftly to the needs of the cyclone affected people in an unprecedented manner and in the process, we saved lives. As we commence our phase 3 operation, together with the government and partners, we will be proving another recovery and resilience support in-order to strengthen the capacity of households and communities to respond to future shocks such as this one,” said Mr Rowe.

Phase 1 of the response by WFP which saw approximately 50 000 individuals being assisted, commenced in immediate aftermath of the Cyclone Idai, where pregnant and lactating mothers were provided with food whereas nutritional support was also extend to children and hospitals. The second phase had by June 18, distributed food items to 170,000 individuals.

Mr Rowe added that Zimbabwe just like the rest of the world was suffering from the effects of climate change which include perennial droughts, poor rainfall and flooding. He called on government and stakeholder’s to come up with measures to protect citizens from future occurrences of such events.

“Zimbabwe is however not alone, climate events account for 80 percent of all disasters that happen globally. According to the 2018 United Nations (UN) report, the number of weather extremes including extreme heat, drought, floods and storms has doubled since the early 90s.

“An average of 213 of these events have occurred every year between 1990 and 2016. Coming together is the first step towards the solution to climate change. As I mentioned earlier, the work is not over, now we need to rebuild affected communities and make them stronger to withstand such future climatic hazards.”

Ambassador of Brazil to Zimbabwe, Maria Morales said Zimbabwe and Africa are facing perennial ecological problems and there was need for a permanent solution to the crisis.

“Even though this donation is small I am sure somehow it will help somehow the efforts the World Food Program in developing and complementing the support it has given to the cyclone survivors. We are prepared to go on and support Zimbabwe more.

“Zimbabwe was not prepared when the cyclone struck and the people suffered so much from this disaster and I am sure this assistance will help the people of Zimbabwe,” said Ambassador Morales.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social welfare, Mr Simon Masanga said the food vulnerability situation in the country has moved to another level and there was urgent need for collaborative efforts to alleviate the crisis.

“Our Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) preliminary report is out and the figures of people who require assistance is quite massive.

“It has gone beyond our initial expectations which then calls for donor agencies to come and assist Zimbabwe, not only in Chimanimani and Chipinge but beyond. The country was affected by drought and there is very little food. Yes we managed to produce pockets here and there but we really need assistance,” said Mr Masanga.

The destruction by Cyclone Idai left an estimated 250 000 people in urgent need of food assistance.






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