In a crucial meeting held at the SADC Secretariat on November 13, 2023, Ms. Joyce Msuya, the Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Coordinator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and His Excellency Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi, the SADC Executive Secretary, underscored the urgent need for accelerated action and robust collaboration between SADC and OCHA to address the escalating impact of climate change in the Southern African region.
The discussion focused on the heightened frequency and intensity of disasters in the area.
Ms. Msuya, as part of her tour of the Southern and Eastern African region, expressed the UN’s commitment to supporting countries disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.
During the meeting, both leaders emphasized the importance of a strong partnership to tackle the challenges posed by climate change.
The UN OCHA Assistant Secretary General commended the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) for its commendable work in protecting communities and fostering confidence in the Cabo Delgado Province.
SAMIM is deployed as part of SADC’s regional response to assist the Government of Mozambique in combating acts of terrorism and violent extremism.
Reflecting on her visit to the SADC Humanitarian Emergency Operations Centre (SHOC) in Nacala, Mozambique, Ms. Msuya praised SADC for establishing the Center, designed to coordinate regional disaster risk preparedness, response, and early recovery.
OCHA pledged its support to SHOC through facilitating connections with financiers, capacity building, and peer-to-peer learning exchanges.
H.E. Magosi, the SADC Executive Secretary, appealed to the international community to support regional efforts aimed at mitigating the impact of disasters.
He applauded OCHA for taking steps toward the establishment of a Climate Financing window under the OCHA Central Emergency Response Fund (CERT) to support climate change programs.
Both leaders emphasized the crucial role of collaborative efforts between governments and development partners in implementing inclusive socio-economic measures to address social inequalities that could potentially drive conflicts.
The enduring partnership between SADC and OCHA was highlighted, with a focus on the ongoing implementation of the Disaster Risk Management Strengthening in SADC (DRMSS) Project.
The project’s overarching goal is to contribute to the reduction of the impacts of natural and manmade hazards, strengthen disaster management and preparedness capacity, and increase resilience.
Accompanying the SADC Executive Secretary to the meeting with the UN OCHA Assistant Secretary General were Ms. Angele Makombo N’Tumba, Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, and senior officials from the Directorate of Food Agriculture and Natural Resources and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit.
The meeting concluded with a reiteration of the commitment to a collaborative approach in addressing the pressing challenges posed by the climate crisis in Southern Africa.
This story has been adopted from the SADC Secretariat, Zimbabwe.