UNDP Mozambique Country Office (CO) today bid farewell to Deodat Maharaj, a Senior Adviser, deployed as part of the surge team to support the CO in responding to cyclones "Idai" and "Kenneth".
Throughout the six-month Deodat served in Mozambique, he helped fast track recovery providing support to the Government to put in place structures to build post cyclones resilience.
Deodat was a strong link between the Government and UNDP, as the CO with support from the surge team, alongside the European Union, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank, conducted the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). He also provided policy and technical support to the Government as well as Donor engagement in highly successful International Pledging Conference that yielded $1.3 billion in pledges.
Following the conference, Deodat played a key role in building a partnership and successfully mobilizing funding to fast track recovery and build resilience including the establishment of a $72.5 million UNDP Recovery Facility for which close to $50 million has already been committed by development partners.
“Deodat was instrumental in the success of the UNDP Mozambique. We/I will miss him as colleagues and friend,” said Alfredo Teixeira, Acting UNDP Mozambique Resident Representative, who further highlighted Deodat’s professional qualities “discharged with great passion and humility”.
On his farewell note to the CO colleagues, Deodat said: “As a team, you should be proud of what you have achieved. The PDNA, International Pledging Conference; Disaster Recovery Framework; Recovery Facility and the resources mobilized were all outstanding successes. I was happy to have made a small contribution. I believe that the sky is the limit for UNDP Mozambique.”
Devastating cyclones Idai and Cylone Kenneth hit the coast of Mozambique between March and April 2019, killed hundreds of people and left about 1.85 million people in Mozambique homeless and without basic necessities and infrastructure. Cyclone Idai also caused significant flooding, damage and destruction of homes resulting in numerous deaths in southern Malawi and in eastern Zimbabwe.
Following these disasters, UNDP rapidly deployed additional technical expertise to help the countries both respond and recover from the disasters.