Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (New Ziana) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Thursday it has approved a US$685 000 grant for Zimbabwe to assist in strengthening its capacity to manage natural disasters.
In the past few years, the country has been on the receiving end of tropical cyclones, droughts and floods.
The disasters killed hundreds of people and livestock, destroyed millions worth of infrastructure as well as left millions food insecure.
Through its Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) programme, the AfDB approved the funding on Wednesday.
“The grant will cover training for various national agencies involved in disaster risk management and financing and contingency planning as
part of the ADRiFi project, designed to enhance the response of regional member countries to climate disasters and promote innovative disaster risk finance instruments, such as disaster risk insurance,” it said.
“It will also benefit populations at risk of exposure to extreme drought events, particularly smallholder farmers and vulnerable rural communities.”
Training is expected to run for two years, with support estimated at US$320 000 coming from the African Union’s specialised agency the African Risk Capacity.
AfDB country manager for Zimbabwe, Damoni Kitabire said extreme weather events such as prolonged dry spells, droughts, floods and tropical cyclones had affected agricultural production and disrupted livelihoods of rural Zimbabwe.
“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.