© UNICEF/HQ06-2234/Pirozzi

An infant holds his health card at a UNICEF-assisted mobile clinic in northern Mozambique. Chronic poverty and periodic natural disasters have slowed the country’s recovery from conflict.


Despite encouraging strides in reducing its crippling poverty levels and in making gradual progress towards benchmarks set by the national Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mozambique remains one of the least developed countries in the world, ranking 168 out of 177 countries in the 2006 Human Development Index.

This is mainly due to the country’s chronic state of vulnerability and humanitarian crisis resulting from three key factors: (i) the weak infrastructure for basic services, which were decimated after more than a decade of civil war, (ii) the impact of HIV/AIDS on national capacities and development, and (iii) the propensity of Mozambique to suffer at the hand of natural disasters, including seasonal floods, cyclones and prolonged droughts. These natural phenomena disrupt livelihoods and services, exhaust the limited coping mechanisms and exacerbate existing vulnerabilities – especially for women and children. For example, preliminary results from the June 2007 Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s exercise indicate that many families affected by the Zambezi River basin floods and by cyclone Favio in Inhambane Province will not have the capacity to recover from the shocks caused by these natural disasters – hence requiring continued humanitarian assistance.


Child health and nutrition: UNICEF will work with national and local health authorities to mitigate the impact of cholera and ensure an appropriate case response; provide preventative and curative health-care support in emergencies; support nutritional rehabilitation initiatives in disaster-affected areas; and prevent and prepare for an avian influenza outbreak in Mozambique.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: UNICEF will continue supporting Mozambican water authorities to rehabilitate/construct water points in disaster-affected areas; construct latrines and truck potable water to affected populations. 

Education: To ensure the continuation of learning activities in the aftermath of an emergency, UNICEF will assist education authorities to preposition educational supplies, including school tents, school kits, learners’ kits and didactic materials for teachers. UNICEF will also support the Ministry of Education and Culture to implement the emergency preparedness and response plan for the education sector.

Child protection: UNICEF will strengthen civil society’s capacity to monitor and address gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse; provide psychosocial care in emergencies; meet the needs of the most vulnerable (e.g., providing emergency household kits).

Programme communication: UNICEF will support community-based social mobilization and outreach activities by developing materials for use by community radio, mobile communication units and community theatre; provide social mobilization materials to promote safe hygiene practices and prevent cholera, malaria and HIV/AIDS in emergency contexts.

Emergency coordination and operations: UNICEF will support the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) with technical assistance to prepare for, monitor and evaluate disaster response initiatives; provide operational assistance for emergency assessments and for the transport and distribution of humanitarian supplies during natural disasters, as necessary.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008*
Sector US$
Child health and nutrition 2,200,000
Water, sanitation and hygiene 1,500,000
Basic education 800,000
Child protection 400,000
Programme communication 100,000
Emergency coordination and operations 650,000
Total** $5,650,000

*  Coordination is an integral part of emergency preparedness and response factored into all sector priorities of the Humanitarian Action Report.
**The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.


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