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Mozambique's post-flood recovery efforts on track, says head of UN agency

Mozambique's post-flood recovery efforts on track, says head of UN agency

Malloch Brown with President Chissano
Mozambique's Gaza Province, hit hard by floods that drove 233,000 people from their homes last year, is rebuilding successfully with outside assistance, according to the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who visited the area last week.

UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown, accompanied by Abdoulie Janneh, UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa, met with President Joaquim Chissano and other leaders during his visit from 27 to 29 August, the agency said in a statement issued today.

The Administrator's "overwhelming impression" from his visit to Gaza "is that normal life has been restored and sensible improvements have been made," the statement said, noting that recovery efforts had moved many villages from flood-prone areas to higher ground, rebuilt government infrastructure and improved water supply systems.

Mr. Malloch Brown co-chaired a conference in Rome in May 2000, where donors promised over $450 million to support flood recovery. Thus far, $360 million have been disbursed. The donors' response to the 2000 floods "was remarkable and showed confidence in the country," the agency chief said.

Mr. Malloch Brown added that donor controls on the use of the money granted to the Mozambican Government were tight, and their evaluation of the use of funds was "very positive."

His meetings with President Chissano, Foreign Minister Leonardo Simao and Finance Minister Luisa Diogo focused on the country's development plans. "The challenge is to restore growth, and to ensure that such growth leads to poverty reduction," Mr. Malloch Brown said.