World Bank approves $72 million for cyclone affected areas in Zimbabwe

Cyclone Idai, which brought floodwater and destruction to areas of Zimbabwe in March

The World Bank Board of Directors approved a $72 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) Crisis Response Window (CRW) to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP).

The financing will help mitigate the impact of Cyclone Idai on the most affected communities of Zimbabwe and lay a foundation for regional recovery and longer-term resilience.

Paul Noumba Um, Country Director for South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe said that the acute economic and humanitarian situation warranted an extraordinary and urgent response from the World Bank.

“We are engaging partners to mount an effective response that addresses the most critical needs for immediate and sustainable disaster recovery,” he said.

The project will target the most affected districts, with a focus on immediate interventions to support livelihoods regeneration and restoration of productive agricultural and livestock capacities and healthcare services, as well as medium-term recovery and resilience-building to rehabilitate critical community infrastructure, such as water and sanitation systems, community schools, roads, and disaster risk mitigation and preparedness.

The cyclone and its aftermath directly impacted 270,000 people, displaced close to 60,000 people, caused estimated direct damages of $622 million, and significantly damaged infrastructure, properties, crops, and livestock, with estimated building-back-better needs of up to $1.1 billion.