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Mozambique

Mozambique is on the south-east coast of Africa and is more than eleven times the size of Ireland.  Despite the fact that the country’s economy is growing rapidly, more than half of the population lives in poverty.  Many face everyday challenges such as accessing basic services, climatic shocks including drought and flooding, and over-reliance on subsistence farming. Mozambique is one of Ireland’s key partner countries and we work with the Government and a range of non-governmental organisations, supporting programmes that ensure people are better educated and healthier, that farmers can produce enough to feed their families and that people play a fuller role in decision making about their country and its future.  

Overview

Mozambique at a glance

Population:

25.8 million

Proportion of population living on less than $1.25 a day: 

59.6%

Ranking on UN Human Development Index 2014:

178 out of 187 countries

Key Partner Country since:

1996

 

A large map of Mozambique

Ireland and Mozambique

Since the opening of our Embassy and the setting up of the official aid programme in 1996, Ireland has worked with a variety of partner organisations including government institutions, UN agencies, international research institutions and aid agencies to support development in Mozambique.

We focus on delivering the objectives set out in our Mozambique Country Strategy Plan 2012-2016 , which was designed in close alignment with the Mozambican Government’s own Poverty Reduction Action Plan,  Plano de Acção para a Redução de Pobreza (PARP).

As well as our bilateral aid programme, we support the work of local and international aid agencies and missionary organisations through our civil society funding schemes.

In our close partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative we are working to address Mozambique’s serious HIV and AIDS situation.

Through our funding for global health initiatives we are supporting specific projects aimed at improving the health and nutrition of Mozambicans through the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

And since 1997, Irish Aid has partnered with The HALO Trust to clear landmines, which had been laid during Mozambique’s civil war. A large number of provinces have now been declared mine free.

We are also working to improve trade relations between Ireland and Mozambique. Improving economic growth is generating increased opportunities for trade in both directions.Irish companies including Kenmare Resources have significant investments in Mozambique.

A number of research and learning partnerships between higher education institutions in Ireland and Mozambique are also supported through the Programme of Strategic Co-operation

Political

One of Africa’s youngest and most vibrant countries, Mozambique became independent from Portugal in 1975. Its formative years were dominated by a two-decade long and brutal civil war. When peace came in 1992 it found Mozambique a devastated country.

It has since become one of Africa’s best performing economies and a successful example of post‑conflict reconstruction and development. The country’s political stability has grown steadily since war ended.

The Mozambique Liberation Front, FRELIMO, holds the majority of parliament seats,. President Filipe Nyusi was elected in October 2014.

The Government of Mozambique’s 5 Year Plan 2015-2019 (Programa Quinquenal do Governo) aims to improve the living conditions of Mozambican people by increasing employment, production and competitiveness, creating wealth and generating balanced and inclusive development, in an environment of peace, security, harmony, solidarity, justice and cohesion

Economic

In spite of the international financial crisis, Mozambique’s economic performance has been impressive, with the economy growing at 7.2% a year.  Growth has been helped by good harvests, large-scale capital projects and strong performance in the services sector.  And the Government is providing incentives to attract foreign direct investment, which contributes to improved tax takes.

Mozambique is well placed to benefit from its abundance of natural resources, particularly gas and coal and its huge agricultural potential, which remains the single most important driver of economic growth.

The country remains one of the poorest in the world and aid still accounts for up to 40% of the Government budgetHowever, growth prospects indicate Mozambique could achieve aid independence by 2025 when royalties from natural resource extractions begin to contribute to the budget.

Florida Zacharias a vendor in Vilankulos looks forward to the new market

Development

Mozambique ranks 178 out of 187 countries in the United Nations’ Human Development Index (Ireland is ranked eleventh). It is classified as one of the world’s most vulnerable countries with regards to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Approx. 70% of the population live in rural areas and  are primarily engaged in subsistence agriculture.  

Mozambique has made progress in development and is on target to achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals, including:

  • ensuring that girls have the same educational opportunities as boys
  • the reduction of infant mortality by 66% by 2015
  • cutting the incidence of malaria and other diseases

In 2015, Mozambique was recognised by the FAO and WFP for its achievement of MDG 1C – to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.

However, despite impressive economic growth, 54.7% of the population were living below the poverty line at last count (2009). Around 11.5% of the adult population are affected by HIV and AIDS.  Less than half of the population can access primary health care and more than a million children do not attend primary school. The results of the most recent Household and Income Survey showed only a marginal improvement in the levels of child malnutrition, which stands at 46.4%.

While poverty rates have reduced in the provinces of Inhambane and Niassa, where Irish Aid supports provincial development, both remain especially vulnerable. Niassa still has high level of malnutrition while Inhambane is particularly vulnerable to climate change and drought.

Mozambique’s national development framework aims to reduce poverty by improving people’s health and education, and boosting rural development to ensure that its mostly rural population can earn a living from the land. Irish Aid works in three main areas in support of the national plan with a variety of partners at national and local levels.  

Mozambique health clinic in Niassa

Reducing vulnerability and enhancing livelihoods at provincial level

Recognising that the majority of Mozambique’s population depend on subsistence agriculture and are often highly vulnerable to cyclical drought and flooding and other external factors that affect secure livelihoods, we have developed a programme that works to bolster the resilience of the poorest households in two provinces, Inhambane and Niassa. Many of these households are headed by women so ensuring access of the family to health and education services, farming and nutrition information and village savings and loans opportunities has made a difference to household well being. We work closely with the provincial governments and a number of NGOs to ensure a coordinated effort. 

Inhambane province is particularly at risk of climate change variations and much of the work that we do with government and other partners is to ensure that the impact of climate change is considered at all stages of planning and programme implementation. With the agriculture and water directorates we have greatly increased the supply of potable and other sources of water including irrigation systems, assisted in the introduction of conservation agriculture techniques and helped train extension workers in appropriate technology suitable for small holder farmers.

We also work closely with a dynamic farm enterprise in Inhambane province which mentors small holder farmers and provides important training and the generation of ideas for the Department of Agriculture on diversified cash crops, higher yields and access to markets.

43% of children under the age of five in Mozambique are stunted. The problem is acute in Niassa province. In Inhambane many mothers and children are also at risk. Our approach has been to tackle the underlying causes of under nutrition and work with all partners at district, provincial and national level to institute a multisectoral approach to the problem. This has involved among other things, working to introduce more nutritious crops including orange fleshed sweet potato, providing clean water, supporting community health workers on health, hygiene and HIV prevention, treatment and care and promoting fortified wheat and oil.

Our support to a nationwide community land fund has enabled communities to gain the rights to own and work their land. We have also supported a number of NGOs who play an important advocacy role around farmer’s rights, social protection and nutrition.

Improving health, nutrition and education services

We continue to support improvements in education and health, with a focus on girls’ education, maternal and child health, human resources for health and education and improved quality of basic services at national level and in the provinces of Niassa and Inhambane.  

The country’s education system has continued to expand quickly, the number of students in primary education has grown from only 400,000 in 1992 to 2.5 million students in 2000, to 5.6 million in 2014. However, the low quality of education remains a concern, as facilities and resources have struggled to keep pace with expansion.  

We have been a strong supporter of primary education, with a focus on building schools, training teachers, providing textbooks, developing a new curriculum and protecting girls from sexual harassment in school. We have also provided support to strengthen the monitoring and assessment of education results. Our focus now turns to quality of education and keeping girls in school to complete their education.

Mozambique is facing severe health challenges and we are supporting the health sector’s efforts to address them.

Our support includes the training of the health workforce, expansion of community-based health services and purchase of medicines and supplies. Ireland’s partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) aims to provide financial and technical support to the Government of Mozambique to strengthen systems through innovation and partnerships and to assist in improving the response to HIV and AIDs, in keeping with national strategies and plans.

In 2014 Ireland became the focal partner in the health sector and coordinates all donor support to this important sector. This role is in collaboration with WHO and our strategy is  to address key priorities identified by government and health partners. 

Community members attend a village meeting, Northern Mozambique

Supporting improved accountability to citizens

To make sure that the progress achieved to date is sustained and brings benefits to all, particularly poor men and women, it is important that citizens can participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives and that they can hold the Government to account at both national and local levels. We support the strengthening of domestic accountability in Mozambique in a number of ways.  

We are building the capacity of local and national Government to be more accountable. We work with the Ministry of Planning and Development so that it is better able to plan, monitor and budget its resources. We also support the implementation of Mozambique’s national decentralisation programme, which is helping to improve the ability of local bodies and agencies to manage public resources in a transparent way.

Our support for the establishment of the Institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE) to undertake research on socio-economic issues ensures that information is available and helps stimulate debate about public policy.

But we also support a wide range of civil society organisations to demand improved delivery of services through our civil society trust fund, MASC and the Citizen Empowerment Programme and to monitor the performance of Government.

How we spend our budget

Over the five-year period of the Mozambique Country Strategy 2012 – 2016, we plan to provide in the region €37 million per year, subject to availability of budget.  We spent just over €35,482 million in support of our development programmes in 2015.

 (see Summary of Key Partner Country Expenditure by Sector – Annex 9, Irish Aid Anual Report 2015

Expenditure by sector Mozambique 2015

Mozambique’s progress

At national level, Mozambique has made significant progress in these areas:

  • The enrolment rate of girls aged 6 in school increased from 68.8% in 2010 to 77.4% in 2014
  • The number of people on antiretroviral treatment increased from 170,198 in 2009 to 558,308 in 2014.
  • The number of households covered by basic social protection increased from 264,511 in 2010 to 433,343 in 2014.

How we have helped

  • Ireland is the co-chair of the international donor group on nutrition and our work has contributed to a fall in mortality rate, as a result of malnutrition from 25% in 2010 tp 11.6% in 2015.
  • Ireland has been working directly with the government to improve access to basic services an example of this improvement is that over the past three years we have seen a 10% increase in school enrolment at primary level.
  • The number of supervised births, a major indicator of success in reducing maternal mortality, rose from 62% in 2010 to 75% in 2015.

Download the Irish Aid Country Strategy Paper

Irish Aid’s Mozambique’s Country Strategy Paper 2012 – 2016 (PDF, 858kb) sets out how we respond to the changing development environment in Mozambique.

Download the Irish Aid Country Strategy Paper

Irish Aid’s Mozambique’s Country Strategy Paper 2012 – 2016 (PDF, 858kb) sets out how we respond to the changing development environment in Mozambique.