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A small waterfall of muddy flash-flood water

Secretary-General expresses sympathy and concern for Southern Africa flood victims

18 March 2019

Responding to the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai and flooding affecting several countries in Southern Africa, in particular Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland has expressed great concern and sympathy for the people and communities suffering.

She said: “I am deeply distressed by the loss of life and the displacement of huge numbers of people in countries of Southern Africa as a result of the extreme weather across vast areas of the region. We see such events becoming more frequent, and the effects of climate change are wreaking havoc that reverses hard-won developmental gains and advances in health, education, infrastructure and eradicating poverty.

“Our hearts go out the families and others close to those who have lost their lives, and the many thousands who are suffering in body or mind as a result of loss of home and livelihood. We stand in solidarity with them, and with all who are working to alleviate their suffering and restore them to safety and comfort.

“The countries of the Commonwealth - in Africa and in all our regions - are collaborating and offering global leadership to ensure that the human causes of such tragic impact are limited and brought under control. The Commonwealth collectively is also providing mutual support and assistance towards building resilience and reducing vulnerability in countries and communities most susceptible to such setbacks. The human costs, and the reversal of social and economic development undermines everything for which we work in the Commonwealth, and our determination that none should be left behind as we seek to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”