The CDP Global Recovery Fund was launched to support recovery efforts for significant international disasters. As part of the first round of funding from the Fund, Cyclone Idai was chosen to receive funding in the priority areas of medium- and long-term recovery. Cyclone Idai brought strong winds and caused severe flooding in Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing at least 1,303 people and affecting more than three million others.
The cyclone made two landfalls in southern Africa with the first occurring on March 4 as a tropical depression which reached southern Malawi before stalling and reversing course back to the Mozambique Channel. In Malawi, Idai brought heavy rains and strong winds just weeks after the nation witnessed record rainfall. According to the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), commissioned by the Government of Malawi (with technical support from the World Bank, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and the United Nations), the resulting floods are estimated to have had the greatest monetary losses in housing ($23.9 million), followed by crops and irrigation ($20.7 million).
Malawi’s economy is largely agrarian with 30 percent of the country’s GDP coming from agriculture, an industry which is overwhelming dominated by women. It is reported that women produce 80 percent of household food and represent 90 percent of all farmers. With the floods having affected key crops such as maize, pulses, sorghum and rice, the PDNA states that 2.3 million farming households were affected and therefore subject to increased food insecurity. Mindful of the chronic food security situation in Malawi and Cyclone Idai’s disproportionate shocks on the agriculture sector, prioritization of the agriculture sector was made when assessing funding opportunities in Malawi from the CDP Fund.
Cyclone Idai’s second landfall occurred on March 15 in central Mozambique as a powerful Category 2 hurricane. It is estimated that over 1.8 million people were affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. In addition, a cholera outbreak followed in the storm’s wake, with more than 4,000 confirmed cases and seven fatalities reported in the first 30 days after the storm. The Southern African Development Community‘s (SADC) Regional Humanitarian Floods Appeal in Response to Tropical Cyclone Idai Report lists its top recommendation as the improvement of national health systems with “support (for) the strengthening of capacity for local health personnel” as a key activity.
Furthermore, the government of Mozambique and the World Health Organization’s most recent situation report, dated Oct. 4, states “access to health services remains a challenge across some cyclone-affected areas as reconstruction of damaged or destroyed health structures is still ongoing.” Considering Mozambique’s already fragile health systems – and the double disaster of a cholera outbreak following Idai – the restoration of health services, with an enhanced level of emergency health readiness, was the priority for CDP funding opportunities in Mozambique.
Considering the impacts to the food security and health sectors in Malawi and Mozambique respectively, the CDP Global Recovery Fund has awarded two grants to support recovery to these organizations:
- Concern Worldwide – $100,000 to restore agricultural livelihoods and support immediate gains in food security among flood-affected communities in southern Malawi. This will be accomplished by rebuilding agricultural productivity through improved irrigation, provision of quality seeds and inputs, and training in improved farming practices for increased yields in hard hit southern Malawi.
- Health Alliance International (HAI) – $150,000 to repair and restock health facilities with medical equipment and durable supplies that have been identified and prioritized by the Provincial Health Directorates of Sofala and Manica provinces in Mozambique. They will also focus on the unmet needs for building stronger provincial-level epidemiological surveillance capacity in order to respond to disease outbreak following natural or epidemiological disasters.
These grants also include disaster preparedness, risk reduction and resiliency components that advance readiness and preparedness measures in two of the world’s least-developed countries. Both organizations also have a history of humanitarian programming in the targeted countries.
Although the two grants from the CDP Global Recovery Fund certainly will not address all of the recovery needs in southern African communities affected Cyclone Idai, they will provide some hope and make a real difference for the farmers in southern Malawi and for the health facilities in central Mozambique.
You can learn more about the CDP Global Recovery Fund or make a donation here.
The Patterson Foundation committed up to $1 million to the CDP Global Recovery Fund to strengthen recovery efforts in communities affected by Cyclone Idai, along with efforts for international disasters to come. The commitment includes an immediate $250,000 contribution to support Cyclone Idai recovery, along with $250,000 matching gifts each time CDP raises $250,000 from private donors for the fund supporting disaster-recovery efforts — up to $750,000 total in matching dollars — through Dec. 31, 2020. To read more about The Patterson Foundation’s contribution click here.