The World Bank Board of Directors approved today (17) a $72 million grant for the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP). The financing will help mitigate the impact of Cyclone Idai on the most affected communities of Zimbabwe and lay a foundation for regional recovery and longer-term resilience.
According to the World Bank, the unprecedented scale of the impact of cyclone Idai on Zimbabwe represents the country’s most devastating recorded natural disaster, compounding the country’s already fragile humanitarian situation.
“The already acute economic and humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe was further worsened due to the damage inflicted by Cyclone Idai. This warrants an extraordinary and urgent response from the World Bank, and we are engaging partners to mount an effective response that addresses the most critical needs for immediate and sustainable disaster recovery,” said Paul Noumba Um, Country Director for South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The project will target the most affected districts, with a focus on immediate interventions to support livelihoods regeneration and restoration of productive agricultural and livestock capacities and healthcare services.
The World Bank’s support complements the ongoing cyclone response by providing timely and flexible financing that enhances the coping capacity of the affected communities while humanitarian operations continue in tandem through other partners.
“ZIRP addresses critical issues at the humanitarian-development nexus, combining best practice from both fields. This multi-sectoral approach provides a more integrated, holistic, and sustainable solution and truly illustrates the power of partnerships,” says R. Mukami Kariuki, Country Manager for Zimbabwe.
Beyond the project just approved by its Board, the World Bank will also mobilize additional resources to provide technical assistance to the Government of Zimbabwe in setting up an overall programmatic Disaster Recovery and Resilience Framework to help it coordinate the efforts of all agencies supporting disaster recovery in the country.
The cyclone and its aftermath directly impacted 270,000 people, displaced close to 60,000 people, caused estimated direct damages of $622 million, and significantly damaged infrastructure, properties, crops, and livestock, with estimated building-back-better needs of up to $1.1 billion.