The Southern African Development Community (SADC) notes with great sadness the devastation caused by the recent tropical Cyclone Idai in the SADC region, in particular in the Republics of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The economic cost and social impact of the Cyclone to the affected countries, and indeed the entire region, is immeasurable.
The Cyclone, which killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands others, left a trail of destruction to land and infrastructure affecting accessibility and provision of health care and welfare to the affected communities. SADC expresses heartfelt condolences to the people and Governments of the three countries, and indeed to the bereaved families.
SADC appreciates the overwhelming support extended to the communities by some Member States, cooperating partners, and most importantly by citizens of the three countries who combined efforts to assist their fellow nationals. SADC stands in solidarity with the three countries as they recover from the tragedy. In this regard, SADC has contributed a total of US$500,000 as follows; US$200,000 to Mozambique; US$150,000 to Malawi; and US$150,000 to Zimbabwe. We call upon all our partners, within and beyond the region, to continue supporting the rescue operations, and in providing the needed humanitarian assistance.
In view of the increased occurrence of climate-related catastrophes, such as cyclones, floods and droughts, around the world and especially in the SADC region, SADC reiterates its call for joint global efforts to reduce global warming and the impacts of climate change and variability, while stepping up efforts to enhance adaptive capacities of developing countries in line with the spirit of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and Article 8(4) of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
I call upon SADC Member States to re-double their efforts to strengthen disaster risk management capacities, as emphasized in the SADC Disaster Preparedness and Response Strategy adopted in 2016, and to fully operationalise the necessary collaborative mechanisms to ensure rapid joint and concerted responses to disasters.
Dr. Hage G. Geingob
President of the Republic of Namibia, and Chairperson of SADC
21 March 2019