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Mozambique is likely to achieve 13 of 21 Millennium Development Goal targets by 2015

© UNICEF Mozambique
Mozambique’s under five mortality rate has declined from 201 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 141 per 1,000 live births in 2008.

MAPUTO, Mozambique, 20 April 2011 – Mozambique is making progress in key human development areas and is likely to achieve 13 of the 21 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, according to the national 2010 ‘MDG Progress Report’. Those likely to be achieved include goals relating to poverty, under-five mortality, maternal mortality and the establishment of an open trading and financial system.

Massive investment in education, health, transport and infrastructure have resulted in progress across a range of non-monetary poverty indicators. The proportion of children experiencing two or more deprivations decreased from 59 per cent in 2003 to 48 per cent in 2008. The country’s under-five mortality rate has declined from 201 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 141 per 1,000 live births in 2008, according to the 2008 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). Similarly, maternal mortality has decreased from an estimated 1,000 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the early 1990s to 408 per 100,000 live births in 2008.

The HIV pandemic appears to be stabilizing in Mozambique. Data from the 2009 ‘National HIV Sero-behavioral Survey’ shows an HIV prevalence of 11.5 per cent among 15-49 year olds. HIV incidence in children below the age of 15 also appears to be decreasing from an estimated 38,500 new infections in 2005 to around 30,000 in 2010.

Progress in education has led to a significant increase in enrolment and attendance rates over the past decade. The MICS shows that 81 per cent of primary school age children (6-12 years) attend primary school, with only a two percentage point difference between boys and girls. The country has also made headway in the protection of children. The national ‘Social Security Strategy’ was approved by the Council of Ministers and included, for the first time, a specific provision for social transfers for vulnerable children and child-headed households. However, despite these achievements, many development challenges remain.

© UNICEF Mozambique
Despite recent progress, Mozambique is among the world’s poorest countries, ranked 165 out of 169 countries on the Human Development Index.

Although economic growth continues at a robust pace, poverty has remained unchanged for the past six years, with over 55 per cent of the population living below the poverty line. Slow growth rates in agricultural productivity (especially food crops), weather shocks affecting the 2008 harvests and an increase in international food and fuel prices, have all contributed to this stagnation.

Progress in school enrolment masks challenges in the quality of education, with 44 per cent of children in primary schools being over-age and only one in five children of secondary school age actually attending secondary school. Gender parity has been achieved in school enrolment, but there are more out-of-school girls than boys.

While malaria continues to claim one third of lives among children under the age of five, HIV is also one of the top causes of death. Adolescent girls are three times more likely than adolescent boys to be affected by the pandemic. Access to safe water and sanitation remains low, particularly in rural areas. In 2008, only six per cent of rural households had access to safe sanitation compared to 47 per cent in urban areas. Urban households also have significantly higher levels of access to safe water than rural households: 70 per cent compared to 30 per cent.

An improved legal and policy framework has led to a more protective environment for children, yet new legislation needs to take effect. Scare budget resources still need to be allocated equitably to sectors that contribute to children’s well-being and development – especially education, health care, water, sanitation and social protection. Similarly, within sectors, there is a need for a more equitable allocation of resources across provinces and programs to reduce prevailing disparities.

For more information, please contact:

Arild Drivdal, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email:

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email:






UNICEF Mozambique Annual Report 2010

Key indicators

20.5 million

Children under 18
10 million

Human Development index

People living belw the poverty line
55 per cent

Under five mortality rate

Maternal mortality rate

HIV prevalence
11.5 per cent


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