Press Release

The United Nations in South Africa contributes towards rebuilding efforts in KwaZulu-Natal Province in response to the devastation caused by floods

12 May 2022

The UN has reallocated R 21 million of its programming budget to support the Government’s response in the hardest hit communities.

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal – The Acting Resident Coordinator and head of the United Nations in South Africa, Mr. Ayodele Odusola, today outlined the support the UN will provide to the KwaZulu-Natal Province following last month’s devastating floods.

Speaking at a joint media briefing held in Durban with Mr. Sihle Zikalala, the provincial Premier, Mr. Odusola commended the relationship between the UN and the province, spanning over a decade, and the support contributed during times of crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the civil unrest of last year.

The UN has reallocated R 21 million of its programming budget to support the Government’s response in the hardest hit communities. Over the coming weeks, the UN will work directly with Government departments to implement various activities in affected communities. It will also participate in the Provincial Disaster Risk Coordination structures to integrate UN programmes into existing sector plans and to ensure inclusion of its reporting into current structures. The UN plans to complete all its support within three months and submit a final report to the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal detailing its work.

“The floods, compounded by the ongoing socio-economic challenges facing the people of South Africa, is both an opportunity and ultimatum for us all. It is a clear sign that the impact of climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Mr. Odusola. Since the destruction caused by the floods, UN agencies have been working closely with Government departments to provide support to the affected communities.

Premier Zikalala welcomed the UN support adding the province is “grateful for the commitment by the UN outlined by the Resident Coordinator and thank you for the network that has been established and the resources that you have mobilised to assist us. This has been a very painful experience and the worst catastrophe we have seen, so the support you have brought is welcomed.”

The UN will also work with the eThekwini Municipality to build on existing work with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs through the District Development Model and KwaZulu-Natal’s own Operation Sukuma Sakhe, which aims to accelerate service delivery, assess progress on repairs to infrastructure that was damaged by recent storms and assist in providing humanitarian support to affected communities.

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For interviews and media enquiries, please contact Zeenat Abdool, UN South Africa - Associate Public Information Officer, at abdool@un.org or 0827788080

The United Nations in South Africa contributes towards rebuilding efforts in KwaZulu-Natal Province in response to the devastation caused by floods

Zeenat Abdool

Zeenat Abdool

UNIC
Communications Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
IFAD
International Fund for Agricultural Development
ILO
International Labour Organization
IOM
International Organization for Migration
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UN-Habitat
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNEP
United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNODC
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization