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United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock (C, Front) addresses a UN special meeting on the Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, at the UN headquarters in New York, on April 2, 2019. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Tuesday called for more funding and long-term aid to Cyclone Idai victims in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Tuesday called for more funding and long-term aid to Cyclone Idai victims in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
About three weeks after Cyclone Idai struck, the needs remain profound in the three southern African countries, Mohammed told a special meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on the disaster.
The risks of more floods, spread of disease and more lives lost persist. Many areas are now affected by cholera outbreaks, with the current tally of 1,000 cases expected to grow.
The storm flattened thousands of homes and flooded acres upon acres of farmland. And more than 200,000 people have been displaced, she said.
Yet the international response is still underfunded, she warned. The three countries need more than 392 million U.S. dollars for the next three months. Currently only 46 million dollars has been tallied, she noted. “We call on member states to bridge this gap urgently.”
At the same time, she said the international community must look toward rebuilding and preventing such disasters in future.
“Beyond the emergency phase, we need to ensure sustained support that will help people and governments cope with the longer term development consequences of the storm, from shelter and health to food security.”
She urged member states to raise ambition on climate action — on both mitigation and adaptation.
While it is impossible to link any single weather event with climate change, such extreme storms are consistent with what scientists are saying about the impacts of global warming, she said.
Against this background, she encouraged member states to engage in the events leading to a UN Climate Summit to be convened in September 2019 by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The summit is an unprecedented opportunity for national governments to bring realistic, concrete climate mitigation and adaptation plans, said Mohammed. “It is time to show leadership and pave the path to a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world.”
Cyclone Idai, which struck on March 14, has killed more than 700 people and destroyed 100,000 homes. Thousands of schools and dozens of health facilities have been rendered useless, said ECOSOC President Inga Rhonda King.
Almost half a million hectares of crops, ready to be harvested, are lost, posing food security risks and endangering livelihoods in addition to cholera outbreaks, she said.Source: Xinhua