Zimbabwe needs at least US$1 billion towards rehabilitation of the three provinces that were ravaged by Cyclone Idai which hit three Southern African states in March 2019, destroying infrastructure and killing hundreds of people.
Speaking on the sidelines of a regional conference of disaster risk management currently underway in Mutare, Amnesty International Zimbabwe Research and Advocacy Officer, Lloyd Kuveya said the three affected provinces of Masvingo, Manicaland and Mashonaland West provinces need at least US$1 billion for rehabilitation.
“There is a huge humanitarian cost to these natural disasters because when you look at our government they really on the assistance of development partners, corporate sector and individuals but once it dies down people still remain in need.
“One year after the disaster you still have people in need many families do not have houses, some still need to send their families to schools but don’t have the money because they have lost their livelihoods.
“So, it’s a huge cost and we are talking of close to a billion dollars to help the people who were affected not only inChimanimani but also in Masvingo and Mashonaland East people where affected and they are still in need of support from government.
“More importantly we have heard of the food insecurity situation caused by the drought, we have got the estimation by the World Food Program is that in rural communities alone 5.5 million people are facing starvation.
He added, “In the urban centers, we have 2.5 million people also facing starvation because of the drought again a result of climate change and climate crisis, so this is why we are saying the next focus should looking at the cost of the humanitarian crisis.”
Kuveya said with the current constrained economic environment government was unlikely to raise funds to meet the humanitarian cost of climate crisis.
He said there was need for a radical shift in the financing of climate change crisis where the Global North that contributed most should finance the disproportionate cost suffered by the global south.
“We need to look at this closely because at this moment because of the economic government I don’t think it has capacity so it will need assistance from the international community and development partners to provide these things.
“What we want to take forward the issues raised in these platforms so that the countries in the Global North have contributed a lot to gas emissions which has caused or contributed to the climate crisis.
“We want them to take responsibility for that and assist our government which might not have the capacity to deal with this climate change crisis,” said Kuveya.