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Friday, 22 March 2019 06:36

AU to contribute US$ 350,000 to disaster efforts

Written by  Yamikani Yapuwa

Blantyre, March, 22, 2019:  African Union (AU) has announced that it is going to contribute US$350, 000 towards disaster efforts in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

According to a Press release on AU Website, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Mahamat made the commitment on Tuesday when he received Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the African Union, Ambassador, Chimango Chirwa.

“The Ambassador briefed the Chairperson on the scope of the disaster in Malawi, adding that it was unprecedented and beyond his country’s capacity to respond.

“Cyclone Idai has affected Mozambique and Zimbabwe, with more than 2 million people impacted in the three countries. It has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed vast areas, cut off communications and made roads impassable for first responders,” the release stated.

The statement said Mahamat has therefore announced that an immediate support of US$ 350,000 be released to the three countries, with Mozambique, the hardest hit of the three  countries to receive US$150, 000 from emergency AU funds in support of response efforts being made by the governments of the affected countries and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat.

“The Chairperson approved for the immediate dispatch of a high level assessment mission to be led by the Permanent Representative Committee’s (PRC) Sub-Committee on Refugees, Returnees and IDPs to assess the situation firsthand and express solidarity with the Governments and peoples of the three affected countries.

“The Commission will redouble its advocacy efforts, to encourage both member states and partners to generously contribute to the ongoing efforts,” it reads.

African Union has reiterated its solidarity with the Governments and the people of the affected countries while giving thanks to the neighbouring countries and partners that have already rendered assistance to the three countries.

The Union called upon all its member states and the larger international community to urgently step up their support in order to effectively address the immediate response challenges at hand.

Department of Disaster Management Affairs has indicated that by March 12, 2019, 56 deaths and 577 injuries have been recorded with three people been reported missing due to the floods that hit the country.

A total of 184,589 households (approximately 922,945 people) have been affected and 16,545 households (approximately 82, 725 people) have been displaced, according to DoDMA.

On the other hand, Cyclone Idai which shook Zimbabwe and Mozambique last week has killed 89 people in Zimbabwe while in Mozambique, President Fillipe Nyusi confirmed on Tuesday that the death toll has reached more than 200 leaving many destitute.