Guterres calls for helping Mozambique tackle ‘triple threat’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the international community to help Mozambique tackle the “triple threat” of climate change, conflict and Covid-19.

“The people of Mozambique urgently need our help to tackle the triple threat of conflict, the climate crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic,” the UN chief said on Saturday in his video message on the second anniversary of the tropical cyclone Idai.

“I call on the international community to step up and support the humanitarian response plan for Mozambique, which needs $254 million to respond to escalating humanitarian needs brought on by the triple crises,” he added.

Guterres said that in the aftermath of the unprecedented back-to-back cyclone Idai and cyclone Kenneth, he travelled to the country and saw the devastation and recovery efforts firsthand.

“I will never forget it. I was deeply moved by the strength and resilience of all those affected – and I was also inspired by the heroism of first responders,” the Secretary-General said.

“The force of the storm is a reminder that time is running out for the world to act on climate change. Tropical storms are becoming more intense and more frequent.

“Parts of Africa are warming at twice the global rate. Indeed, Africa is the least responsible for climate disruption yet is among the first and worst to suffer.

“The world must take immediate action to mitigate global warming while supporting nations on the frontline of climate change to build resilience and adapt to impacts,” the UN chief noted.

He said that two years after cyclone Idai, so many families were still struggling to rebuild their lives.

Tropical storm Chalane hit in December 2020 followed by tropical cyclone Eloise in January 2021.

“These storms were emergencies on top of emergencies,” said the UN chief.

He called on the international community to join hands to help the people of Mozambique recover better together.