Conflicts start to weigh on Mozambique’s economy
FILE: Children walking along a road damaged by cyclone Idai, in Búzi, Sofala province, April 2019. [File photo: Unicef Mozambique]
The World Bank approved today an International Development Association (IDA)* grant of $110 million as additional financing to support the Government of Mozambique’s reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the Cyclones Idai and Kenneth. This funding will address Mozambique’s post-disaster recovery needs in the roads subsector by increasing the scope of the original Integrated Feeder Road Development Project approved in 2018 through reconstruction and rehabilitation of rural roads and bridges in the four additional provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete, and Cabo Delgado.
“The Cyclones Idai and Kenneth have destroyed a large portion of the road network in the six provinces, which has resulted in tremendous human suffering in rural communities,” noted Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros. “This project will help restore access to medical, educational and economic opportunities for the affected communities.”
For the poor, the rural roads are the only connection to essential medical services, schools, social facilities, and broader economic opportunities. Large communities were cut off for weeks. Collapsed bridges meant large detours and alternative routes, adding, in some cases, more than 50 km to commute. Damaged roads make emergency recovery and reconstruction efforts difficult in every other sector of the economy.
“We want to build back better,” noted Rakesh Tripathi, Senior Transport Specialist and the project’s task team leader. “This project will reestablish connectivity in the most affected districts of these six provinces by building resilient rural roads and bridges, and thus contribute to restore livelihoods, support agriculture productivity, restore access to medical facilities and educational opportunities.” The project will also benefit several government agencies, including the National Territorial Transportation Institute (INATTER) and traffic police, but also the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), as they address road safety and climate change emergencies.
This additional financing is part of the World Bank’s broader regional package which comprises a set of operations totalling about $700 million in IDA resources to support cyclone response in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.This operation is consistent with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity through access to infrastructure, and it’s in line with the World Bank Country Partnership Framework 2017-2021.
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