Published on Sustainable Cities

How does the World Bank initiate a rapid response to climate-related disasters?

This page in:
How does The World Bank initiate a rapid response to climate-related disasters? How does The World Bank initiate a rapid response to climate-related disasters?

In less than six weeks between March and April 2019, Mozambique was affected by two major cyclones, which caused extraordinary levels of impact in the poorest provinces of the country. 

The first event, Cyclone Idai, affected more than 1.5 million people with total recovery and reconstruction costs estimated at $2.9 billion. The second event, Cyclone Kenneth, affected close to 290,000 people in Cabo Delgado, one of the country’s poorest provinces, and total reconstruction needs were estimated at $224.4 million.

These disasters were by all accounts exceptional and unlikely events: Cyclone Idai currently ranks as the third-deadliest tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere, and Cyclone Kenneth was the first tropical cyclone with winds of more than 120 km/h to ever made landfall this far north in the South-West Indian basin. This was also the first time in recorded history that two strong tropical cyclones hit Mozambique in the same season.

So how were we going to help Mozambique recover from the impacts of Cyclone Idai and Kenneth and increase its resilience to floods and cyclones?  We decided to mount a quick, effective and comprehensive response package across the World Bank. Here are the three steps we took:

  1. By mobilizing resources from existing projects across different sectors within the World Bank, we were able to provide immediate livelihood support in agriculture and for fisheries, restore infrastructure in parks, and to restore access, power and water supply, and public health services in Beira and other affected areas;
  2. Under the IDA Immediate Response Mechanism (IRM), we were able to disburse $55 million for emergency repairs of roads, water supply systems and emergency agriculture, and rural livelihood support;
  3. $390 million from the Crisis Response Window (CRW) helped provide additional recovery and reconstruction financing for the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts across four sector projects: agriculture and rural recovery; water system rehabilitation and reconstruction; road and bridge reconstruction; and social protection, including a new $130 million Emergency Recovery and Resilience Project for additional multisectoral resilient recovery and reconstruction needs for Beira and affected areas. 



By weaving the “build back better” principles into the work we do, we were able to strengthen the climate resilience of Mozambique’s communities and economy, while including nature-based solutions. Now, public buildings, water supply systems, roads and bridges, and other rural and urban infrastructure will be rebuilt to withstand more intense events, in accordance to resilient design and construction standards!




Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

Former Regional Director, Africa, Sustainable Development Practice Group

Michel Matera

Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000