Mozambique: Project Visits
Presently, 2 million Mozambicans are in need of assistance as a result of a 2-year drought brought on by El Nino, which has led to the driest conditions in 35 years.
CARE began operations in Mozambique in 1984, and our 30-year presence in the country has resulted in CARE having a strong reputation as a reliable, efficient and trustworthy emergency response development partner effectively empowering the most vulnerable populations.
CARE’s work in Mozambique began with emergency assistance and food distribution for people who were affected by the protracted war between government and rebel forces. From 1990 to 1994, CARE expanded its project portfolio to include disaster recovery and development activities.
Following the end of the war in 1992, CARE turned its focus to implementing long-term development projects, including local water management, sanitation and hygiene, food security and nutrition, early childhood care and development, women´s economic empowerment (including microfinance), gender equity and strengthening local civil society action. Partnerships with other local civil society actors are essential to the delivery of CARE’s programs. In CARE’s current six year country strategy (2014-2020) for Mozambique, CARE seeks to fight poverty and improve food and nutrition security by empowering women and girls to exercise their rights.
Food Security & Nutrition
Despite the under-development of Mozambique’s agriculture sector, its’ potential is significant given the country’s 36 million hectares of arable land and the numerous rivers that traverse its territory. It is estimated that close to 35% of Mozambican families find themselves in a situation of chronic food insecurity; on average, farmers only produce enough food to feed their families adequately for less than eight months of the year.
The poorest families only produce enough food for half the year, and two-thirds of female-headed households are chronically food insecure. A 2011 demographic health survey further showed that: 43% of children under age five were affected by stunting (i.e. chronic malnutrition); 20% suffer from more severe chronic malnutrition; and 8% from wasting (i.e. acute malnutrition). Stunting rates of under-five children reach 55% in Nampula Province (location of Nampula and Angoche).
CARE Mozambique is working with families in drought affected areas to increase the productivity and profitability of crops, and works with farmers on using modern farming techniques and improving animal health. Village saving groups help people set up alternative sources of income and become more resilient to climate change and recurring natural disasters. CARE is also supporting households in areas affected by floods to resume agricultural activities through seed and agricultural inputs, such as hoes and watering cans.
Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction & Emergencies
CARE Mozambique’s focus provinces, like the country as a whole, are disaster-prone. Droughts and floods are both regular occurrences in Mozambique, and coastal areas are highly susceptible to tropical storms. The frequency and severity of extreme weather events are expected to increase globally under climate change, and Mozambique is no exception.
CARE is working with communities to enable them to prepare for recurring droughts and floods and adapt to the changing climate over the long-term. This includes teaching farming techniques such as conservation agriculture practices, as well as distributing more drought resistant seeds. In coastal areas vulnerable to tropical storms, mangrove planting and restoration is one example of disaster risk reduction with multiple benefits for both farming and fishing households.
Through a partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature, and with generous support from the Sall Family Foundation, great strides have been made in helping individuals and families build resilience in response to a changing climate. The CARE-WWF Alliance envisions landscapes in which marine and terrestrial ecosystems are thriving and the poor who depend on them have better lives and broader options, and are active participants in a governance framework that ensures that natural resources are managed for both current and future generations.