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AfDB calls for an urgent global response as the second cyclone hits Southern Africa

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The African Development Bank has called for urgent global action in the wake of a second cyclone to hit the southern Africa coastal region in six weeks. According to Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, “we must have concerted international cooperation to establish management systems and responses to combat the natural disaster.”

Cyclone Kenneth is also the most extreme tropical tornado to hit Mozambique in the last 60 years, according to official records.

“Timely intervention of national, regional and international actors and stakeholders are crucial when disaster strikes. Increasingly, Africa’s ecological challenges will only be successfully tackled through the harmony of efforts and activities of continental and global institutions,” Adesina urged on Monday from the Bank’s Abidjan headquarters.

Cyclone Kenneth ripped through Comoros and Mozambique last week and is likely to cause extreme flooding in areas where more than 70,000 people live, according to the country’s National Directorate for the Management of Water Resources.

On March 15, cyclone Idai began pounding Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe and impacted the livelihoods of more than 3 million people. The official death toll now stands at 1,007, with 602 killed in Mozambique, 344 in Zimbabwe, 60 in Malawi and one in Madagascar, according to relief agencies.

Infrastructural damage from Idai across Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe is estimated to be at least $1 billion.

“We are on the brink of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. We need to brace up for post-cyclone flooding, landslides and disease outbreaks,” Adesina warned.

A high-level Bank delegation, led by Mateus Magala, Vice President for Corporate Services and Human Resources, has begun visiting the affected areas.

Speaking from Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, Magala said, “What we saw on the ground in Mozambique after Idai, and in camps housing internally displaced persons in the south of Malawi, shows that we need to focus on restoring the dignity of citizens and the economic stability of communities when disaster strikes.”

Other members of the Bank delegation include Patrick Zimpita, Executive Director for Malawi, Zambia, and Mauritius; Heinrich Gaomab II, Executive Director for Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe; and Kapil Kapoor, Director General, Southern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.

The Bank delegation is expected in Harare this week to meet with donor agencies and officials of the Government of Zimbabwe. They will also tour Chimanimani, Chipinge and Mutare districts in Manicaland Province which were most affected by cyclone Idai.

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