Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message on the second anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Idai, observed today:
As we mark the second anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Idai, the United Nations is honoured to continue standing in solidarity with the people and Government of Mozambique.
In the aftermath of the unprecedented back-to-back Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth, I travelled to the country and saw the devastation and recovery efforts first-hand. I will never forget it. I was deeply moved by the strength and resilience of all those affected — and I was also inspired by the heroism of first responders.
The force of the storm is a reminder that time is running out for the world to act on climate change. Tropical storms are becoming more intense and more frequent. Parts of Africa are warming at twice the global rate. Indeed, Africa is the least responsible for climate disruption, yet is among the first and worst to suffer.
The world must take immediate action to mitigate global warming while supporting nations on the front line of climate change to build resilience and adapt to impacts.
Two years after Cyclone Idai, so many families still struggle to rebuild their lives. Tropical Storm Chalane hit in December 2020 followed by Tropical Cyclone Eloise in January 2021. These storms were emergencies on top of emergencies.
The people of Mozambique urgently need our help to tackle the triple threat of conflict, the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. I call on the international community to step up and support the humanitarian response plan for Mozambique, which needs $254 million to respond to escalating humanitarian needs brought on by the triple crises.
On this solemn anniversary, let’s join hands to help the people of Mozambique recover better together.