Published on Sustainable Cities

Cyclone Idai: Building climate and disaster resilience in Mozambique and beyond

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Cyclone Idai is one of the most devastating storms to ever hit Africa, causing catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
Starting off in early March 2019 as a tropical depression, the storm rapidly evolved into a cyclone, affecting over 2 million people and killing close to 1,000 in the three countries affected. The port city of Beira, Mozambique – the hardest hit – is struggling to reemerge from the rubble.
In Africa and around the world, disasters such as floods and droughts are becoming more frequent due to climate change.  In Mozambique alone, disasters lead to an annual loss of an estimated $100 million – about 1% of the country’s GDP, and climate change is expected to cause economic damage of up to $7.4 billion between 2003 and 2050.  The poor – especially women and children – are among the most vulnerable. Each year, an average of 500 classrooms are damaged by disasters, affecting the lives of 50,000 students, according to a recent assessment by the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).

The World Bank is supporting disaster risk management activities in Mozambique to strengthen the government’s capacity to respond quickly to – and mitigate the impacts of – future climate hazards.  Some of our actions include the capitalization and operationalization of the recently established Disaster Management Fund, as well as strengthening disaster preparedness and response, and building climate resilience into vulnerable infrastructure.
The World Bank is actively engaged in funds mobilization for disaster relief operations and the subsequent reconstruction , both through reallocating existing resources as well as mobilizing fresh funding for reconstruction. Watch a video with World Bank Senior Director Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez (@Ede_WBG) and Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist Michel Matera to learn more.



Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

Former Regional Director, Africa, Sustainable Development Practice Group

Michel Matera

Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist

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