South Korea allocates $6.5 million to help Mozambique cope with natural disasters

South Korea has donated $6.5 million (€6 million) to Mozambique to help estimated 350,000 people cope with cyclones and other natural disasters, Mozambican government said in a report May 1o, 2023.

Support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will finance a project entitled ‘Promoting Disaster Resilience and Cohesion’ in Mozambique, from 2023 to 2026, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The financial donation will help communities strengthen structures for accessing basic services and livelihoods, so that they can withstand the seasonal passage of cyclones (between December and April).

The emancipation of women and the protection of the most vulnerable families, namely those displaced by war and people with disabilities, are priorities among the target groups.

The project will be implemented in five provinces: Manica, Sofala, Nampula, Cabo Delgado and Niassa, typically those most affected by cyclones.

Korea International Cooperation Agency has had a history of supporting Mozambique in the health, education, water resources and transport sectors.

Cyclone Freddy, the latest storm which wreaked havoc in Mozambique, was one of the longest-lasting cyclones on record (37 days, between February 5th and March 14th of this year). It also covered the greatest distance, exceeding 10,000 kilometres since forming off the coast of northern Australia before crossing the entire Indian Ocean on its way to southern Africa.

The storm caused hundreds of deaths and widespread destruction in central Mozambique and Malawi.

According to NASA, Freddy has set the record for having the highest accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) of any southern hemisphere storm in history. ACE is an index used to measure the total amount of wind energy associated with a tropical cyclone over its lifetime.

The WMO Weather and Climate Extremes Archive gives details of records for temperature, precipitation, wind speed and more.

“World record or not, Freddy will remain, in any case, an exceptional phenomenon for the history of the South-West Indian Ocean on many aspects: longevity, distance covered, remarkable maximum intensity, accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) amount, impact on inhabited lands … but it will be necessary to wait until the system ends its life cycle to make an exhaustive assessment,” said Sebastien Langlade, Head of Operations at RSMC La Réunion.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced in March that it was setting up an expert committee to evaluate whether Tropical Cyclone Freddy had broken the record for the longest-lasting tropical cyclone. 

It has been a named tropical cyclone for 34 days, crossing the entire South Indian Ocean and travelled more than 8,000 kilometres. Its accumulated cyclone energy (an index used to measure the energy released by a tropical cyclone) was the equivalent of an entire average North Atlantic hurricane season.