Zimbabwe Cyclone Idai recovery projects launched

Some parts of Chimanimani and Chipinge were rendered inaccessible after roads and bridges were swept away
Laylee Moshiri

By John Mokwetsi

The Zimbabwe government in partnership with World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) today launched Cyclone Idai recovery projects worth US$96.5 million aimed at restoring livelihoods and infrastructure development.

The two projects namely the US$72 million Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) is being funded by the World Bank while the US$24.5 million worth Post Cyclone Idai Emergency Recovery and Resilience Project (PCIREP) is funded by AfDB.

Both projects will be implemented by UNOPS working with other United Nations Agencies namely UNICEF, FAO, WFP and WHO.

Ranier Frauenfeld, Director of the UNOPS Kenya Multi-Country Office said: “The UN in Zimbabwe is committed to supporting the recovery of communities affected by Cyclone Idai to ensure that Zimbabwe gets back on track with its development agenda. ZIRP and PCIREP represented a coordinated multi-sector response to this emergency that will build resilience and sustainability into the targeted communities.”

Cyclone Idai struck Zimbabwe in March 2019, causing extensive damage worth an estimated $622 Million. Over 50 000 households were destroyed, directly affecting 270 000, including 60 000 who were displaced.

The $72 million fund by the World Bank will provide immediate support for the most affected communities across nine districts. ZIRP will focus on rebuilding community infrastructure and restoring livelihoods through cash transfers, restoring agricultural crops and livestock production, and revitalising basic healthcare services.

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank Regional Director for Social, Urban and Rural Resilience said: “Ensuring integrated and coordinated support for affected communities, this project will assist in the renewal of livelihoods with a focus on building back smarter and longer-term resilience rebuilding. Through these unique partnerships we hope to contribute to how national and regional authorities; development and humanitarian partners can and must work together in providing critical development assistance.”

Working together, ZIRP and PCIREP will provide assistance to more than 270 000 people affected by Cyclone Idai.

Domani Kitabire, Africa Development Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe speaking on the $24.5 million PCIREP which will focus on rebuilding key infrastructure across Zimbabwe said: “Whilst the combined interventions of $24.5 million by the AFDB and the $72 million by the World Bank might appear substantial to address the issues of lost livelihoods and partial restoration of the damaged infrastructure in the affected communities, in reality, it is not. Much more is needed people go back to the livelihoods they had before the disaster struck.”

UNOPS will work closely with the Government of Zimbabwe to implement the PCIREP and increase the government’s capacity to manage emergencies in the future.

Laylee Moshiri, the UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe attended the ceremony and spoke on the work the agency was already doing in the areas of WASH and Nutrition and others in Chimanimani.

The launch ceremony that was held in the capital Harare was presided over by the Government of Zimbabwe, The United Nations Country team, foreign dignitaries, private sector partners, Civil Society Organisations, and Key development partners in Zimbabwe.

July Moyo, the Minister for Local Government, Public Works, and National Housing lauded the launch of Idai recovery projects saying the partners working with government continue to support affected communities in realising the ultimate goal of rebuilding their resilience.”

Moyo said: “The launch of the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project and Post Cyclone Idai Emergency Recovery and Resilience Projects gives impetus and traction to the recovery stretch, where we will work with partners from the private sector, World Bank, AFDB, DFID, People’s Republic of China, Republic of South Africa, EU, the UN just to mention a few as we assist the affected communities to rebuild resilience.”

A number of collaborative initiatives are under preparation to enable Zimbabwe to strengthen its capacity and systems for recovery and resilience coordination and disaster risk management and mitigation. One of the initiatives is the government-led Zimbabwe Recovery and Resilience Framework, in line with the Government of Zimbabwe’s Transition Stabilisation and National Development Plan, schedule to take place in 2020.