I look forward to working with the Government and our many development partners to advance children’s rights.
In September 2015, Marcoluigi Corsi officially began his tenure as UNICEF Representative in Mozambique, bringing more than 20 years of international experience in the planning, coordination, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of a broad range of programmes to improve the wellbeing of children and women.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Corsi served four years as UNICEF Representative in Bolivia, during which engagement he led the development and implementation of the UNICEF country programme, including in joint UN coherence initiatives and inter-agency collaboration – known as the Delivering as One initiative – aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the aid administration and its core principle of government ownership.
Throughout his career Mr. Corsi has been a strong advocate for child rights, poverty eradication, better delivery in development and the Millennium Development Goals.
I am excited in joining UNICEF in Mozambique at a crucial stage in the country’s development, notably in the preparation of the new UNDAF (United Nations Development Assistance Framework) and the new UNICEF country programme for 2017 - 2020
Mr. Corsi joined UNICEF in 1997 as UNICEF Assistant Programme Officer Monitoring and Evaluation, Community Based Planning and Co-ordination Unit, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In 1999, he transferred to Somalia Support Centre, based in Nairobi, Kenya providing technical leadership at the national level and in support of three Zonal Offices on all aspects of programme planning, analysis, monitoring and evaluation of the UNICEF country programme implemented in Somalia. From 2002 to 2005, he served as UNICEF Deputy Representative for Eritrea, while between 2005 and 2008, he worked as UNICEF Senior Programme Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Resource Mobilization Specialist, and from 2008 to 2011 as UNICEF Deputy Representative, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2011, he transferred to La Paz, Bolivia as UNICEF Representative.
He holds a Master Degree in International Political Sciences.
Mr. Corsi is a national of Italy. He is married and has three children.
Statement from the Representative
Mozambique is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to disasters like droughts, floods, cyclones, epidemics and minor earthquakes. In 2015, Mozambique was at the top of the list with Dominica and Malawi as one of the countries most affected by extreme weather events (Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index, 2017). Between 1980–2015, Mozambique experienced 25 floods, 14 tropical cyclones, 13 droughts, 23 epidemics and one earthquake (INGC, 2016).
Mozambicans also suffered a 16-year war that ended in 1992, which – apart from costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, including women and children – also left it one of the world’s poorest nations. Despite the progress made since 1992, the country has suffered a recent debt crisis and also faces security challenges. Today, families still struggle to overcome poverty and to become food secure as well as to access essential services, notably healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as education. Those living in rural areas and in poor urban areas are particularly vulnerable. Overall poverty is high at 54 per cent and disparities are stark.
Despite significant progress in reducing child mortality, many children under 5 years of age still die of preventable and treatable illnesses; malaria accounts for 35 per cent of child mortality. Huge challenges remain in nutrition, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene which contribute to the high levels of stunting at 43.3 per cent. Also, despite significant progress in primary school enrolment, less than half of children complete primary education.
Adolescents, especially girls, also need our support. In Mozambique, children and adolescents make up 52 per cent of the population, and are the fastest growing section of the population. One of the biggest challenges they face is to avoid marrying before the age of 18, as early marriage can have a devastating impact on health, education and general well-being. Mozambique has the tenth highest rate of child marriage globally, affecting almost one in every two girls; 48 per cent marry before the age of 18 (DHS 2011). Moreover, adolescents are particularly vulnerable to HIV. In 2014, an estimated 18,000 adolescents aged 15–19 were newly infected with HIV, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Global AIDS Report (2014).
We need to support children, adolescents, mothers, grandmothers, fathers, teachers, and the millions of others they represent and help them to strengthen their resilience as they strive to reach their potential. With some extra assistance, many of them will be able to move towards achieving their goals, and will continue to make, or will in the future make, a valuable contribution to the development of this culturally diverse, potentially rich and beautiful country.