AfDB approves US$685 000 grant for disaster risk management training

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) has approved a US$685 000 grant to strengthen Zimbabwe’s capacity to manage disaster risk.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

The grant was approved under the AfDB’s, African Development Fund (ADF) which is the concessionary lending arm of the African Development Bank Group.

“The Board of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Wednesday approved a $685,000 grant to strengthen Zimbabwe’s capacity to manage disaster risks, including droughts, floods and tropical cyclones, through the Bank’s Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) programme,” AfDB, in a statement yesterday said.

“The grant will cover training for various national agencies involved in disaster risk management and financing and contingency planning as part of the ADRiFi project, designed to enhance the response of Regional Member Countries to climate disasters and promote innovative disaster risk finance instruments, such as disaster risk insurance.”

ADF provides low income Regional Member Countries with concessional loans and grants, guarantees as well as technical assistance for studies and capacity building to support of projects and programs that spur poverty reduction and economic development.

As such, AfDB said the grant will also benefit populations at risk of exposure to extreme drought events, particularly smallholder farmers and vulnerable rural communities.

“The ADRiFi project complements other initiatives currently being implemented in the agriculture sector and the Bank’s post Idai rehabilitation and reconstruction project in Zimbabwe,” AfDB said.

“The country is also a beneficiary of a Euro 1.2 million grant from the Bank, allocated for training of some eight resource-rich African countries, to improve their mining revenues.”

AfDB also announced that in collaboration with the Bank, the African Risk Capacity, a specialized agency of the African Union, will provide in-kind contribution for trainings estimated at around US$320 000.

“The project will run for two years, starting from March 2020,” AfDB said.

The support from the AfDB comes as country experienced extreme weather events that gave Zimbabwe ones of its worst droughts on record in the 2018/19 agricultural season and a deadly category three storm.

AfDB Zimbabwe country manager, Damoni Kitabire said extreme weather events such as prolonged dry spells, droughts, floods, and tropical cyclones had affected agricultural production and disrupted livelihoods of rural Zimbabwe.

“Coupled with harsh economic challenges, these extreme weather events increase household vulnerability, food insecurity, chronic poverty and malnutrition across the country,” Kitabire told the ADF Board.

He said the project demonstrates the Bank’s continued support to the country, while the government is working to reform the economy and that the AfDB would leverage support from other partners to successfully implement the project.

“The drought, worsened by the unfavourable economic conditions in the country, is estimated to have exposed 5.5 million people in rural areas and about three million urban dwellers to extreme vulnerability and food insecurity in the first half of 2020,” AfDB said.

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