Lesotho will bag a minimum of €780, 000 (over M13 million) from the European Union (EU)’s €24.5 million (about M415 million) purse allocated for humanitarian aid for Southern African and Indian Ocean placed countries hard-hit by natural disasters.
The EU Commissioner for crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, highlighted that the southern region has been impacted by natural disasters such as cyclone, over-flooding et al, which emanates from the climate change.
On February 13, 2017 the cyclone Dineo slated the coastal districts of Mozambique and the neighbouring countries, brewing heavy rains, winds, and storms, claiming the lives of seven people and affecting around 700, 000 people, reaching 130 km per hour of landscape, consequently affecting the agricultural sector.
The same hurricane was followed by the stronger Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique and the neighbouring Southern African countries this year in January. However, Lesotho only received strong rains that destroyed roads, bridges and food at the fields in both attacks which prompted the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro to call for a state of emergency in February 16, 2021.
“Southern Africa is highly vulnerable to various natural hazards, including cyclones, droughts and epidemics. In some countries of the region, this is exacerbated by a challenging political and socio-economic environment, while the overall situation is aggravated further due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Lenarčič said adding that Lesotho will also be helped with a sum amounting to €180, 000 (M3 103 271.81) for Education in Emergencies (EiE) €6 million will help the whole region with education with a potential €8 million spared to improve the region’s disaster preparedness.
“EU assistance seeks to alleviate the humanitarian consequences on the most vulnerable populations, and improve disaster preparedness in the region.
“Vulnerable households in Lesotho have been particularly hard-hit after years of successive droughts and failed harvest. A funding package of €780, 000 from this regional support will go to humanitarian projects in Lesotho. €180, 000 of the assistance package will be geared towards Education in Emergencies (EiE), while €600, 000 will go to Disaster Preparedness (DP) Projects.” Lenarčič said.
Besides Lesotho, Lenarčič’s statement indicated that Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Madagascar’s vulnerable displaced and affected people will be assisted with shelter, food, protection and access to healthcare.
“EU aid will provide assistance against the socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe, to address food insecurity, and to support Covid-19 preparedness and response.
“In Madagascar, the EU will provide assistance to address the severe food and nutrition crisis. A further €6 million will be dedicated to helping children across the whole region gain access to education. Another €8 million will be provided to improve the region’s disaster preparedness,” he said.
“The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated an already difficulty situation in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. The region faces natural hazards, including recurring droughts and cyclones, on top of economic and political challenges.
“Disasters represent a major source of risk for the most vulnerable populations and can undermine development gains. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many poor households are having difficulty in meeting food and non-food needs because of lockdowns and other coronavirus-related restrictive measures.
“Since 2014, the EU has mobilised over €237 million (about M4 billion) in assistance to the region, paying particular attention to disaster preparedness. The EU provides aid in the form of emergency cash transfer to vulnerable people affected by disasters and is also helping address food and nutrition needs in affected areas.
“With the security situation deteriorating in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, the EU is supporting vulnerable displaced and affected people with shelter, food, protection and access to healthcare,” he said.