2007 UNICEF Humanitarian Action Report
Maputo 5 February 2007 – Despite significant progress made in recent years, Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is prone to natural disasters, chronic vulnerability and persistent humanitarian conditions. In its 2007 Humanitarian Report launched last week, UNICEF is seeking for US$ 5,210,900 to strengthen national capacity to prepare for and respond to the country’s endemic humanitarian crisis.
The report provides an annual overview of UNICEF emergency assistance programmes worldwide and sets out relief activities and its financial requirements for meeting the needs of children and women.
Among the critical issues for children in Mozambique, the report highlights that the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is reversing the development gains of the past decade. In 2006, the number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS was estimated at 380,000 and this figure is expected to increase to 630,000 by the year 2010.
In addition, says the report, the threat of national disasters, including seasonal floods, cyclones and prolonged droughts is disrupting livelihoods and services, exhausting limited coping mechanisms and exacerbating population’s vulnerabilities – especially women and children.
The report points out that vulnerable populations face the constant threat of cholera outbreaks due to the poor availability of clean water and sanitation facilities. Nutrition problems are also the underlying cause of almost 50 per cent of all child deaths in the country. Of an estimated 715,000 children born every year about 89,000 will day before reaching the age one and an additional 39,000 will die before reaching age five.
The Government of Mozambique is taking steps to address chronic vulnerability and the country’s humanitarian crisis, which includes the development of a National Strategy for the Development and Mitigation of Natural Disasters. Several ministries are also working to incorporate emergency preparedness and response planning into their policies and action plans. Nevertheless, these longer-term strategies need to be transformed into practical actions before they can have the desired impact, concludes the report.
For more information on the report, which includes key actions and achievements in 2006 as well as planned humanitarian actions for 2007, please click on the links in the blue box on the right.