Mozambique ‘faces climate debt trap’ as Cyclone Kenneth follows Idai

(Climate Change News, 26 Apr 2019) A loan from International Monetary Fund allows the African country to rebuild from climate-linked disaster – but drives the poor into debt, campaigners warn.

The world’s sixth poorest country faces the second storm with an extra $118 million of debt, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week granted an interest-free loan for rebuilding.

It unfairly saddles victims of climate disaster with the costs of a problem they did little to cause, campaigners argued, calling for better support systems.

Sarah-Jayne Clifton, director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, said it was “a shocking indictment of the international community” that Mozambique had to borrow money to cope.

“What’s happening to Mozambique is going to happen to other places more frequently. Unless there is a more systematic approach for tackling debt problems of poor countries, there is going to be a climate debt trap spiralling out of control,” she told Climate Home News.

Kenneth is the strongest storm ever to make landfall in Mozambique, according to meteorologists. On Thursday it brought winds of 220km/h and heavy rainfall to the north of the country, which has never recorded hurricane-force winds before.

It comes after Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in March, leaving widespread homelessness and outbreaks of cholera in its wake.

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Climate Change News, 26 Apr 2019: Mozambique ‘faces climate debt trap’ as Cyclone Kenneth follows Idai