Share this page: 

Joint Press Statement by the Co-Presidents of the ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on Cyclone “Idai”.

Joseph Owona Kono, Co-President and Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, acting Co-President said:

“It is with great sadness and dismay that we learned of the devastating effects of tropical cyclone “Idai” that affected Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe just a few days ago. This tropical cyclone, ravaging southern Africa, is possibly the worst weather-related disaster to have hit the southern hemisphere, with 1.7 million people affected in Mozambique, over 920.000 in Malawi and over 500.000 people affected in Zimbabwe.

Wind speeds of over 200 km per hour and storm surge floods of up to 6 metres have caused incredible devastation over a huge area.

So far, there are over 200 confirmed victims, but the numbers are rising fast and it is feared that they may exceed 1000. An indefinite number of people have been injured, many hundreds of thousands have lost their homes, land is flooded, maize crops lost, and the local economies and infrastructure have virtually been destroyed. The consequences will be felt for decades.

We, and the entire ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, express our profound sympathy and solidarity with the victims of this devastating cyclone and convey our deep condolences to the relatives of the victims.

At the same time, we call on international donors to allocate emergency and natural disaster intervention aid funds, and to speed up humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

In this context, we would like to welcome the fact that the European Union has already taken action to respond to the dire situation. In addition to the EUR 250 000 immediately mobilised in initial humanitarian assistance, an initial emergency aid package was decided on 19 March 2019 on the basis of a needs analysis for a total of EUR 3.5 million (2 million for Mozambique, 1 million for Malawi, 0.5 million for Zimbabwe). Moreover, the Copernicus satellite system has been activated to further identify needs and help humanitarian partners and local authorities.

As an expression of support by the ACP Parliamentary Assembly, discussions are underway with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to address this tragedy.

We also reiterate the strong call for the international community to fight climate change and global warming, which have caused such terrible disasters. Once and for all, legally binding international obligations have to be put in place to limit the emission of carbon gases, which are responsible for this climate disruption that affects, disproportionately, poor people in developing countries.”

Background

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) is meeting in Bucharest, Romania this week. The JPA brings together Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states that have signed the Cotonou Agreement, which is the basis for ACP-EU cooperation and development work.