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Mozambique’s government expects the impact of Cyclone Idai to trim this year’s economic growth by two percentage points from its existing forecast for 3.8%, the finance minister, Adriano Maleiane, has told Lusa.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance now expects growth to settleat between 1.1% to 2.8% in 2019, a range whose midpoint is only a little over half the rate predicted until now.
“We estimate we will lose two percentage points against what we had projected for 2019,” Economy and Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane told Lusa on Thursday.
“As a result of the cyclone, we think GDP in Mozambique could fall to a range of 1.1% to 2.8%, so [the impact of Idai] is very strong,” Minister Maleiane said at the World Bank headquarters in Washington at the end of a roundtable discussion on Cyclone Idai with representatives from 30 countries.
The minister added that the Mozambican government expected inflation – which at the end of 2018 stood at 3.8% – to rise by one digit, as a result of the needs created by the cyclone.
The executive would mobilise all efforts to prevent any possible rise in prices, he said. “One way the government can help minimise the suffering of the needy is to do everything it can so that inflation does not get in the way,” he said.
Cyclone Idai destroyed some 800,000 hectares of cultivated land, in a country where agriculture accounts for 23% of GDP. The damage is compounded by the deterioration in transport and communication systems, he added.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not updated its October forecast for growth in Mozambique in 2019, which remains at 4%.
At the end of the discussion, which was co-organised Portugal, the United Kingdom and the three countries affected by Idai, Mozambique’s Minister of Economy and Finance highlighted the collaboration and good will of all participants, without exception, as vital to support reconstruction in Mozambique, “in whatever way each country is able”.
“What has become clear to me is that everyone stands in solidarity and will do everything they can to make Mozambique smile again,” the minister added.
Minister Maleiane did not discuss commitments regarding the amounts that each country would donate, because such was not the goal, which was rather to hear their predisposition to continue lending support.
Cyclone Idai made landfall in the central region of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on 14 March. According Mozambican authorities’ latest figures, the cyclone killed 602 and injured 1,641, affecting more than 1.5 million people in the centre of the country.
— Anne Kabagambe (@akabagambe) April 11, 2019
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