Emergency Flood Relief (Second Provision of Supplies) to the Republic of Zimbabwe (report #1)

Situation Report
Originally published
Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) performance

Secretariat of the Japan
Disaster Relief Team

The following is a report on emergency flood relief (provision of supplies) to the Republic of Zimbabwe as authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 4:45 p.m., March 13 (Mon), after consultations with the Ministry of Finance.

1. Emergency Situation

A subtropical cyclone that formed in the Mozambique Channel struck Zimbabwe in late February, causing torrential rains. These rains caused rivers in the central and southwestern parts of the country to flood, and dams in several areas collapsed. Transportation has been paralyzed in all parts of the country as major roads are flooded and bridges have been washed away. According to figures released by the Zimbabwean government on March 6, over 70 people have died and over 500,000 have been affected.

2. Reaction of the Government of Zimbabwe

Executive President Mugabe declared a national state of emergency for the three provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo, and Matabeleland South. The president also ordered helicopters to isolated areas, which are now performing such activities as rescue of flood victims and situation assessment. Meanwhile the Ministry of Health & Child Welfare has temporarily established a mobile medical clinic to assist victims, and the police force and other agencies are engaged in rescue operations. On March 8, the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister sent a note verbal to the Japanese Embassy in Zimbabwe asking for emergency assistance.

3. Response of the International Community

(1) United States: Announced provision of $50,000 in assistance to support a study on emergency aid needs through the UNDP

(2) South Korea: Announced provision of $10,000 in assistance

(3) EU: Announcement of assistance pending

4. Response of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the request for emergency relief from the government of Zimbabwe, and after consultations with the Ministry of Finance, authorized provision of the following itemsthrough JICA:
Relief supplies (from the JICA warehouse in the UK):

Tents (6-man) : 90
Tents (12-man) : 20
Blankets : 4,000
Plastic sheeting (rolls) : 20

Estimated cost of relief supplies: approximately 22 million

Transport schedule: Arrangements are being made for transport to the Zimbabwean capital of Harare on the earliest available flight.

5. Additional Remarks

Zimbabwe implemented a structural adjustment program in 1991; however, this plan led to little progress being made in fields related to reducing deficit financing, such as privatization and reductions in the number of public servants. As a result, the government is currently implementing a second phase of the program, but the country's economy is still foundering due to high inflation and other factors. This year the country is experiencing an oil shortage along with a foreign exchange shortage. There is concern that the recent floods will have a negative affect on tobacco profits, one of the major sources of foreign currency in the country.

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