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Call for urgent international action to support Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe hit by Cyclone Idai

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Resolution adopted by consensus by the 140th IPU Assembly (Doha, 9 April 2019)

The 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Deeply concerned about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe since Cyclone ldai hit these countries causing widespread flooding through the region, killing many people, leaving thousands missing or injured, destroying homes, affecting more than a million lives, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and causing a rising death tolI,

Considering that it is too early to gauge the magnitude of the devastation, that the number of victims is expected to rise, and that the World Health Organization has warned of a "second disaster" if potentially lethal waterborne diseases like cholera spread in the devastated region,

Noting that few countries could adequately respond to a disaster of this magnitude (the World Meteorological Organization projects that ldai will be among the worst weather-related disasters in the southern hemisphere), and certainly not three of the world’s poorest countries, let alone Mozambique, which are in the midst of a debt crisis and whose annual GDP is around US$ 12 billion,

Acknowledging that these countries were already vulnerable to disaster because of long lasting droughts and failed rains, due to changing weather conditions linked to global warming that has led to extreme rainfall and rising sea-levels and triggered deadly storms, such as Cyclone ldai,

Welcoming the measures and efforts taken by countries and aid organizations providing relief, food, temporary shelters, water-treatment devices and medicines, and knowing that widespread devastation and poor infrastructure hamper rescue and humanitarian operations from reaching all affected people,

Referring to the UN Secretary-General’s request for a quick response from the international community to the UN flash appeal issued on 25 March 2019 for US$ 282 million of emergency aid to Mozambique for a three-month period, and to the revised appeals for Zimbabwe and Malawi,

Noting the vulnerability of women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly in this situation, and also noting the risks of children in the aftermath of the cyclone being sold into slavery by human traffickers or forced into early marriage by families struggling to survive,

Acknowledging that extreme weather events are most likely to become more frequent, severe, devastating and widespread and could be prevented or moderated by actions from the international community today,

Recalling the Paris Agreement that entered into force on 4 November 2016, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015), which provide the foundation for sustainable, low-carbon and resilient development under a changing climate,

Looking forward to the UN Climate Summit in September 2019 as an important opportunity to raise ambition and establish plans for achieving the Paris Agreement goals,

Referring to the IPU’s own commitments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (Hanoi Declaration 2015), to ensure parliaments hold governments to account in implementing effective measures to achieve these goals while leaving no one behind, in particular Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation, Goal 3 on good health and well-being, and Goal 7 on affordable and clean energy, and acknowledging that these disasters further disadvantage the affected countries’ abilities to achieve the SDGs,

  1. Calls on parliamentarians to urge their governments that have not already done so to support the UN flash appeals for Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, according to the values of the United Nations, and to contribute in an appropriate manner by ensuring that adequate human and financial resources are dedicated to the countries concerned;

  2. Also calls on the United Nations, aid organizations and the international community to remain focused on the most vulnerable in the flood-ravaged areas without clean water, especially women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly, to support them in rebuilding their livelihoods and strengthening their capacity to care for their families, and to pay special attention to the needs of children, girls, women and other vulnerable groups at risk of kidnapping, trafficking and sexual exploitation;

  3. Urges all parties, whether or not they have signed the Paris Agreement, to do their utmost to achieve its goals and to present their progress and future ambitions at the UN Climate Summit in September 2019 as well as their long-term climate changes to the United Nations in the course of 2020, and particularly urges parties to invest in mitigation and adaptation across vulnerable countries;

  4. Also urges high-income economies to provide more finance, technical and capacity-building assistance to middle and low-income economies to help them better cope with climate change;

  5. Calls upon national parliaments to urge their governments to take a leading role and effective measures to counter global warming, raise awareness about the effects of climate change and adopt a more sustainable way of living;

  6. Urges the global community, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, to support the affected countries in developing comprehensive national resilience mechanisms, strengthening disaster risk reduction and prevention, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective responses, and to "build back better" in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction, and calls on the governments of the countries concerned to also invest in risk-reduction measures and societal resilience;

  7. Also urges the global community, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015) and together with governments and the private sector in disaster-prone countries, to invest in climate-resilient development programmes related to key livelihood security topics of people living in high-risk areas, with a focus on SDGs 1 (poverty eradication), 2 (food security), 3 (health), 5 (gender equality), 6 (water and sanitation), 7 (access to affordable energy), 8 (good jobs), 11 (resilient communities) and 13 (climate action);

  8. Calls on IPU parliamentarians to work with government in partnership with the private sector to gradually move towards clean and renewable energy.