Brussels, 3 February 2022/OACPS: Secretary-General, H.E. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, expressed his deepest condolences to the governments and peoples in the affected   Southern African states, who experienced the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Ana, which first struck on Monday, 24 January 2022. The Storm’s torrential rains first made landfall in the Republic of Madagascar and proceeded to leave a trail of destruction in the Republics of Mozambique and Malawi, resulting in the significant loss of lives, displacement of thousands of persons and severe infrastructural damage.

As Members of the OACPS await the results of the official situation reports and post-disaster need assessments on the scope of the damage caused, the Secretary-General expressed his concern at the preliminary reports which indicate high levels of devastation.  Unofficial accounts from rescue workers report the demise of 41 persons in Madagascar, 18 persons in Mozambique and 11 persons in Malawi. There are reports of tens of thousands of damaged homes, with many victims still trapped in collapsed buildings. At present, no deaths have been reported in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Secretary-General Chikoti observed that the frequency of disasters such as Tropical Storm Ana, sadly confirms that Members of the OACPS are amongst the most vulnerable and fragile countries in the world.  In addition to environmental threats caused by natural hazards and climate change, Members of the OACPS also face multiple crises, including the current Covid-19 pandemic, the looming biodiversity crisis and harsh economic challenges whose impacts seriously affect their sustainable development ambitions.

The Secretary General expressed his solidarity and commitment to support the affected Southern African states at this challenging time and pledged his commitment to closely collaborate with the OACPS network of European Union and multilateral partners to provide a timely delivery of emergency supplies, humanitarian assistance and support to long term recovery efforts.

Photo: AP Photo