JOHANNESBURG – The African Export-Import Bank says it is donating U.S.$1.5 million to support relief efforts for victims of tropical cyclone Idai which devastated Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi recently.
Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah said the relief package was approved by the bank's board of directors last week and the funds will be distributed across the three southern African countries on the basis of the scale of damage suffered.
Oramah said Afreximbank decided to act given the scale of the devastation brought about by the tropical cyclone, whose death toll is expected to exceed 1,000 and which affected at least 2.5 million people.
He said the funds would be disbursed through the national relief agencies of the three countries as they were well-placed to deploy them to the most critical areas of need.
Afreximbank will also send missions to the countries to assess the potential for deploying its programmes and facilities.
He said Afreximbank had launched its Food Emergency Contingent Trade Financing Facility to ameliorate the consequences of such events and stressed the urgent need to rapidly deploy the product across the continent.
Meanwhile, South Africa's international relations and cooperation minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, travelled to Mozambique and Zimbabwe on Thursday to hand over donations to victims of the cyclone.
Sisulu handed over a R60 million donation to each country from the African Renaissance and International Co-Operation Fund for rebuilding, agriculture and reconstruction, while the Motsepe Foundation pledged R15 million to each country.
African News Agency (ANA)