African Development Bank supports post cyclone recovery efforts with $24.7 million

The African Development Bank Group on 21 August 2019 signed a deal to support Zimbabwe’s post-cyclone Idai recovery plans with $24.7 million as part of its lead role to help restore livelihood and infrastructure in areas most hit by the disaster this year.

Cyclone Idai hit the southern African nation in March, causing loss of lives, devastation, displacement and extensive damage to infrastructure in some eight districts. The Bank Group initially responded to the calamity with $250,000 to support the humanitarian aid response.

The latest support, from the Bank’s Transitional Support Facility and regional resource envelopes, reaffirms the Bank’s continued commitment to Zimbabwe as displayed through its consistent engagement in the country, said Bank country manager Damoni Kitabire while signing an agreement for the $24.7 million assistance.

“As your Bank, we will stand with you and support you as you endeavor to revive the economy with progressive market-oriented policies,” Kitabire said. Other signatories to the agreement are the Zimbabwean government and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), an arm of the world body that supports peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects, focusing on infrastructure, procurement and project management.

Kitabire also urged the government to continue its macro-economic reforms and, in particular, efforts aimed at attracting adequate foreign exchange necessary for full restoration of fiscal stability and the rebuilding of basic infrastructure.

UNOPS will implement the project over three years, in collaboration with the government and the affected communities in the most hard-hit districts of Chimanimani and Chipinge in Manicaland province, with a combined population of around 434,000.

The government of Zimbabwe will provide $3.2 million to co-finance the project, titled ‘Post Cyclone Idai Emergency Recovery and Resilience Programme’.

In a keynote address at the signing, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube expressed gratitude to the Bank for its continued support.

“The gesture symbolises the strong partnership and deep cooperation between Zimbabwe and its partners, in responding to emergency needs in the wake of the tropical cyclone which sadly caused loss of lives and livelihoods as well as damage to infrastructure,” said Ncube.

UNOPS head of programmes, Thushanti Marita Selvarajah, said the unit has a track record of implementing Bank-funded projects in regional member countries, specifically in emergency situations and anticipates the same in Zimbabwe.