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by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE is poised to strengthen capacity to manage disaster risks, including droughts, floods and tropical cyclones after securing a grant of $685 000 from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Funds have been secured through the bank’s Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) programme.
The grant will cover training for various national agencies involved in disaster risk management plus financing and contingency planning as part of the ADRiFi project.
ADRiFi is designed to enhance the response of regional member countries to climate disasters and promote innovative disaster risk finance instruments, such as disaster risk insurance.
In Zimbabwe, the grant will also benefit populations at risk of exposure to extreme drought events, particularly smallholder farmers and vulnerable rural communities.
Damoni Kitabire, AfDB country manager for Zimbabwe, said extreme weather events such as prolonged dry spells, droughts, floods and tropical cyclones had affected agricultural production and disrupted livelihoods of rural areas.
“Coupled with harsh economic challenges, these extreme weather events increase household vulnerability, food insecurity, chronic poverty and malnutrition across the country,” Kitabire told the AfDB Board.
He said the project demonstrated the bank’s continued support to the country, while the government was working to reform the economy.
“The bank is committed to leveraging support from other partners to successfully implement the project,” Kitabire said.
In March last year, Zimbabwe was hit by Cyclone Idai, which caused damage to infrastructure and livelihoods in several rural communities.
The drought, worsened by the unfavourable economic conditions in the country, is estimated to have exposed 5.5 million people in rural areas and about three million urban dwellers to extreme vulnerability and food insecurity in the first half of 2020.
Zimbabwe is also a beneficiary of a €1,2 million grant AfDB allocated for training of some eight resource-rich African countries, to improve their mining revenues.
– CAJ News