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    6 Nov, 2021

    SADC and Mozambique discuss operationalization of SHOC

    The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has intensified efforts and processes towards the operationalisation of the SADC Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism, which includes the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre (SHOC), SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr. Elias M. Magosi, has said.

    SADC endeavours to counter the adverse effects of climate change, which culminates in various extreme weather events that result in loss of lives and livelihoods, displacement of people and destruction of infrastructure, 

    H.E Magosi was speaking during a virtual courtesy call by the President of National Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of Mozambique, Honourable Luísa Celma Meque, on 3rd November 2021.

    SHOC is a SADC centre based in Nacala, Nampula Province in the Republic of Mozambique that will be responsible for the coordination of regional disaster risk preparedness, response and early recovery to support Member States affected by disasters. The Centre will also facilitate supply chain management of equipment and supplies that SADC responders will require during deployment of humanitarian support to Member States. 

    H.E Magosi commended the Government of the Republic of Mozambique for offering to host the Centre, as well as for providing land and a building to host the Centre. He appreciated the commitment and support rendered by the Republic of Mozambique to have the Centre operational.  He highlighted that according to the roadmap for the establishment of the Centre, the Secretariat is required to facilitate the finalisation of the instruments for the operationalisation of SHOC, which includes the Standard Operating Procedures, the Inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding IGMoU), the Hosting Agreement and the Sustainability Plan for SHOC, which would define resource requirements to operationalise the facility. He indicated that SHOC will be fully established as a SADC Centre once a two-thirds majority of SADC Member States have signed the IGMoU.  

    The Executive Secretary requested the Government of Mozambique to continue to provide the running costs of the building while awaiting endorsement of the Centre. He informed the meeting that the Secretariat was working with cooperating partners to solicit support to manage and maintain the building together with the operational costs, which are presently borne by the Republic of Mozambique as the host government. 

    Honourable Meque applauded the collaborative efforts by the SADC Secretariat and the Government towards operationalising the Centre, and therefore enabling coordinated regional disaster risk management support to affected countries and minimising the impacts of disasters.

    She also acknowledged the ongoing efforts towards the operationalisation of the roadmap for the establishment of SHOC, as well as the on-going processes towards the finalisation of the legal instruments that will operationalise the centre. Hon. Meque further indicated the willingness by the Government of Mozambique to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Centre to ensure the safety and suitability of the building for SHOC. 

    She urged the Region to remain vigilant and alert as the rainy season is approaching. This was in view of the projections that the Region is likely to receive normal to abnormal rains. She highlighted the need for the Region to safeguard itself against the impacts from torrential rains and floods that have in the past left trails of destruction to infrastructure thereby disrupting the provision of social services to communities.

    The parties agreed to continue to engage and work together to ensure the speedy finalisation of the instruments necessary for the operationalisation of SHOC.

    Hon. Meque was accompanied by the Director for Regional and Continental Integration for Mozambique, Ambassador Carlos Manuel Carlos Rodrigues Da Costa, and Deputy Director of National Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of Mozambique, Mr Antonio Jose Beleza, while the SADC Executive Secretary was accompanied by the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, and the Deputy Executive Secretary for Corporate Affairs, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, amongst other senior officials.

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