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World Bank increases support to $700m for storm-hit Southern African countries

The World Bank has increased its support to $700 million for the three Southern African countries affected by the devastating cyclone in March.

More than 1,000 people were killed across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi after Cyclone Idai, the worst cyclone in decades, lashed the eastern Indian Ocean coast bringing heavy winds and rains.

In a press release copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, it said, the World Bank has mobilized over half a billion dollars in new resources to help people in the Southern African countries affected by the assessed impact of Cyclone Idai.

It said, the World Bank is activating the International Development Association (IDA) Crisis Response Window (CRW) to provide up to $545 million in total for the three affected countries.

This will be in addition to nearly $150 million in resources that have recently been made available from existing projects, the release said.

“Together, total World Bank support to the three countries’ recovery reaches around $700 million. The World Bank is also working with Mozambique and Comoros to assess and respond to the newest development—Cyclone Kenneth,” it indicated.

The World Bank Group President, David Malpass said, “Cyclone Idai caused catastrophic damage earlier this year that affected millions of people, and this tragedy has been compounded by Cyclone Kenneth. The World Bank Group is working closely with our partners to help the population recover from these terrible storms, build back stronger than before, and improve countries’ resilience to natural disasters,” he added.

The release indicated that, Mozambique, the country hardest hit by the cyclone, will receive $350 million in CRW 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.

Neighboring Malawi will receive $120 million in financing to restore agricultural livelihoods, reconstruct priority infrastructure, and support disease surveillance.

The release said the Bank intends to provide an exceptional allocation of up to $75 million to select UN agencies to support the people of Zimbabwe also affected by Cyclone Idai.

Funds will go towards a harmonized multi-sector livelihood support and recovery operation focused on social welfare and community interventions, the release explained.

By Asabea Akonor

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