By Samantha Rusare
The World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), have availed a combined US$96.7 million to Zimbabwe for the restoration of livelihoods and infrastructure, following a ravaging Cyclone early this year.
Zimbabwe was hit by Tropical Cyclone Idai in March this year, which left scores of people dead and thousands others displaced in the country’s eastern region.
The two international financial institutions on Monday jointly launched two post Cyclone Idai recovery projects in Harare, in the nine affected districts of Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East provinces.
An estimated 270,000 people are expected to benefit from the projects.
The World Bank has provided US$72 Million under the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP), which will be managed by the United Nations Office for Projects Services (UNOPS) and implemented through the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO.
Of the USD72 million availed by the World Bank, US$40 million has been set aside for food importation for the cyclone affected communities.
The AfDB gave US$24.7 million to undertake the Idai Post Cyclone Emergency Recovery and Resilience Project (IERRP), which focuses on public infrastructure rehabilitation in the affected areas.
This comes on the backdrop of the bank having committed an initial US$250,000 to assist the Zimbabwean Government to provide basic necessities for the affected communities.
The Government of Zimbabwe, AfDB and UNOPS have since signed a tripartite agreement where the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing will be directly involved in the implementation of the projects.
Speaking at the launch of the two projects, World Bank Regional Director Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez said, “It is now our responsibility to find ways to quickly provide support for the communities to stand up again.
“We are gathered here to try and find practical ways to move as fast as possible to provide that recovery”.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo, who was represented by his deputy Jennifer Mhlanga, expressed optimism that the launch of the two projects will give impetus to recovery efforts in the affected areas.
“I am pleased to note that funding from the World Bank and the African Development Bank will go a long way in building the capacity of the Civil Protection Department so that it is better resourced and equipped to respond to emergencies and disasters of the magnitude of Cyclone Idai,” he said.
Zimbabwe requires up to US$768 million to restore infrastructure that was destroyed by Cyclone Idai.