In Mozambique, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres begins a two-day visit Thursday to assess the damage from storms Idai and Kenneth, which devastated the country earlier this year.
Guterres will meet with President Filipe Nyusi to begin his travel, and receive updated briefings from UN agencies in the field before visiting affected areas, the UN said.
Among the hardest hit areas was Beira, which was in the bullseye of Idai when it came ashore on March 14 after causing heavy flooding ahead of its arrival. Some 3,000 square kilometers of land were under water following torrential rains, with some 3.8 million people affected, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
In April, Cyclone Kenneth followed with devastating impacts in the northern Cabo Delgado province.
“This was the first time in recorded history that two cyclones struck the coast of Mozambique in such close succession, and the furthest north that a cyclone had ever made landfall in the country,” said UNOCHA.
Last month, the country hosted a donors’ conference that raised US$1.2 billion, far short of the $3.2 billion needed to rebuild the region. Guterres called on the international community to show solidarity with Mozambique and said the disaster – one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in African history – was a warning that climate change can no longer wait to be addressed.
Image: World Food Program file