A man helps a woman through a flooded neighbourhood in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth, in Pemba. Picture: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has lauded what he describes as Mozambique’s “undeniable moral authority” following the deadly cyclones which wrought disaster on Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi earlier this year.

Mozambique bore the brunt of the death and destruction caused by cyclones Idai and Kenneth with more than two million Mozambicans affected. The overall death toll in all three countries surpassed 1 000 people.

According to Guterres this moral authority lay with the “extraordinarily courageous” people who had contributed nothing to the global warming inexorably linked to the cyclones but who, however, had been the main victims of the deadly weather, UN News reported.

The UN chief made his comments after arriving in Mozambique to express solidarity and see for himself the damage wrought by the two back-to-back cyclones.

Guterres said the vulnerability of the impoverished southern African State gave its people “the right to demand strong solidarity and strong support from the international community, both in response to the dramas created by the storms that plagued the country, and in preparing the country for reconstruction and preparation for future situations”. 

UN agencies which have been leading the relief and recovery effort in support of Maputo consider the nation “an absolute priority”, he added.

Their efforts are currently focused on launching the reconstruction process as the initial relief and recovery effort is now behind them.

However, less than half of the $3.2 billion requested by the Mozambican government at a recent pledging conference in Mozambique had been pledged, and a UN appeal for $280 million in aid was also far from being fully funded

African News Agency (ANA)