Cyclones Idai and Kenneth: Mozambique Government convenes international pledging conference
All photos: União Europeia em Moçambique
The European Union on Thursday confirmed that 300 million euros (about 337 million US dollars) is available to assist Mozambique in reconstruction after cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which hit the country in March and April.
The EU ambassador to Mozambique, Antonio Gaspar, gave the guarantee in the central city of Chimoio, during the 27th session of political dialogue between the EU and Mozambique.
The EU pledge was initially given in the international donors’ conference held in Beira on 31 May-1 June. The money will be spent on key sectors for reconstruction such as infrastructures and agriculture. Other areas for aid would be identified during the meeting, said Gaspar.
“In this dialogue with the government and the business sector we must find out what potential Mozambique has and see how this intervention can be undertaken. The objective is to help rebuild the country after the devastating effects caused by nature”, said Gaspar.
He added that a further concern was “strategies that seek to improve the business and investment climate, so as to increase the trade between Europe and Mozambique from a perspective of equality”.
Chimoio is capital of Manica province, and the EU hopes that local Manica businesses “will discuss how to intervene to improve productivity and the export of existing products to the European market, and bring the goods the country needs”, said Gaspar. “That is our greatest expectation”.
For his part, Mozambican Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco said that political dialogue is an established platform between the government and the EU, consisting of the two sides sharing information about the political, economic and social situation in their countries”.
“Apart from sharing information, we shall also deal with the implementation of various projects under way in Mozambique with EU financing”, he continued, adding that the government also intended to present draft plans that might be eligible for further European funding.