The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that they will extend a $118.2 million credit facility to Mozambique to assist with rebuilding infrastructure caused by the devastating cyclone Idai.
The Cyclone swept across South Africa’s neighbours killing hundreds and destroying whole villages. Idai, which is one of the worst cyclones in decades to hit southern Africa. It swept in from the Indian Ocean in March.
Winds of over 170 km per hour destroyed everything in its wake as it made it’s way inland from the east. The cyclone affected Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe with more than 1 000 deaths reported in total.
Torrential rain along with the strong winds caused massive flooding throughout Mozambique. The port town of Beira was perhaps one of the worst affected leaving thousands displaced and without basic amenities.
Mozambique is sorely in need of resources to begin the rebuilding process. The World Bank has estimated that the three countries hit by Idai will need $2 billion to deal with the devastation wrought by the tropical storm.
Mozambique has a $337m response plan. Of that $228m came after appeals made after the cyclone hit will cover a fraction of what is needed to rebuild the country.
“The financial assistance is intended to address large budgetary and external financing gaps arising from reconstruction needs after Cyclone Idai, which caused significant loss of life and infrastructure damage,” the International Monetary Fund said.
In addition to large scale infrastructure losses, the continued humanitarian efforts in Mozambique have had to combat the spread of cholera. Displaced victims of the cyclone have had to survive without reliable access to clean water and food.
Even before the cyclone, Mozambique has had to deal with regular cholera outbreaks. In the last five years, the country has had to act on several occasions to deal with cholera infection. The most recent in 2018 when as many as 2 000 people were infected.
The IMF’s offer of assistance will help bring some relief to those affected. In addition, it will hopefully help raise more awareness for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in cyclone-ravaged countries.