World Bank ups Cyclone Idai support to $700 million


The World Bank increased emergency support for three southern African countries affected by a devastating cyclone that killed hundreds in March to $700 million, the lender said.

More than a thousand people were killed across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi after Cyclone Idai, the worst in decades, lashed the eastern Indian Ocean coast bringing heavy winds and rains.

New World Bank President David Malpass, in Africa for his first foreign trip, toured the affected areas in Mozambican port city Beira on Friday.

The bank said it was activating the International Development Association’s (IDA) Crisis Response Window (CRW) to provide up to $545 million in total for the three countries.

The IDA is the bank fund for the poorest countries.

“This is in addition to nearly $150 million in resources recently made available from existing projects. Together, total World Bank support to the three countries’ recovery reaches around $700 million,” the bank said.

Mozambique, hardest hit by the cyclone, would receive $350 million in CRW financing to re-establish water supply, rebuild damaged public infrastructure and support disease prevention, among others, the World Bank said.

Malawi would get $120 million in financing, while the lender intended to provide an exceptional allocation of up to $75 million to select United Nations agencies to support Zimbabwe.

The bank was still assessing the impact of Cylcone Kenneth that slammed the island nation of Comoros and then northern Mozambique last month.

“The World Bank Group is working closely with our partners to help the population recover from these terrible storms, build back stronger than before and improve countries’ resilience to natural disasters,” Malpass said in a statement.

As part of his Africa trip, Malpass travelled to Ethiopia and Madagascar to visit World Bank Group-funded projects and met with government leaders, private sector representatives and other stakeholders.