HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, the Speaker of the Shura Council, President of the 140th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), on Monday chaired a meeting of the General Assembly to discuss the emergency item on humanitarian assistance to the African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi affected by Cyclone Idai.
At the beginning of the meeting, His Excellency said that the emergency item was adopted by the General Assembly on its agenda yesterday and called for urgent international action to help the three African countries hit by the cyclone recently.
Speaking on behalf of the State of Qatar and not as the President of the General Assembly of the IPU, HE Speaker of the Shura Council expressed Qatar's deep condolences and solidarity with three countries and their peoples, after suffering heavy losses due to the devastating Cyclone Idai.
His Excellency also called for the launch of a global campaign to help the governments of the three countries to overcome the plight and to meet the needs of their citizens.
HE Al Mahmoud stressed that handling disasters cannot be achieved individually because of the lack of potentials and resources, but through collective action and mobilization of the international community and all humanitarian organizations concerned to provide humanitarian support and assistance to those affected and victims.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council gave the floor to the representatives of the countries and organizations that asked to talk about this emergency item on the humanitarian catastrophe that left much human and material damage in the three countries.
The speakers expressed their solidarity with these countries and with the victims of the cyclone and called for mobilizing international support to provide them with assistance, especially in the fields of shelter, food, health, environmental sanitation and clean drinking water.
They stressed that the social and economic impact of this disaster on Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the region, as well as the widespread destruction of about 90 percent of the infrastructure as well as destruction of many homes, bridges and schools, some of which have become shelters, and the sometimes difficult access to those affected, require accelerated international action and urgent to support the three states in alleviating the damage to their peoples, calling upon partners and the international community to respond quickly in addressing this humanitarian challenge.
The speakers also referred to climate change that causes such disasters, and the importance of recognizing its risks. They also called on the countries, especially the industrial ones, to abide by the international conventions that protect the planet and the world environment, including the Paris Convention, and work to reduce global warming and emissions in the atmosphere, including the carbon dioxide.
They stressed that the challenges posed by the cyclone to the three countries are large, adding international and humanitarian relief efforts must be combined as a top priority to overcome the plight over the short-, medium- and long-term, in the light of the negative effects that millions of victims have been affected by the spread of diseases and epidemics, including cholera.
For their part, the representatives of the three affected countries explained in detail the devastation caused by the cyclone and the emergency needs of their countries and their vision of how to deal with and overcome its effects with the help of friends, partners and the international community.
They noted that many citizens in the three countries have died, in addition to the displaced and refugees, including large numbers of children and women, a matter which requires actions.
The representatives of States and organizations expressed their thanks to the IPU for discussing this disaster and expressed their gratitude for the sympathy, contributions and support shown by the participating countries in overcoming the catastrophic effects of cyclone Idai.
Addressing this humanitarian catastrophe, the representative of Namibia emphasized his country's commitment to finding a lasting and just solution to the Palestinian cause that guarantees the Palestinian people their rights as stipulated in international resolutions, while the representative of the Kingdom of Morocco said they cannot remain silent about the injustice and oppression to which Palestinian people are subjected.