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Mozambique achieves MDG 1

Children gather around a water pump in Niassa province, Mozambique. The Irish Aid programme has tackled malnutrition in Niassa through support to agricultural research; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and community health structures.

Children gather around a water pump in Niassa province, Mozambique. The Irish Aid programme has tackled malnutrition in Niassa through support to agricultural research; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and community health structures.

The proportion of people suffering from hunger in Mozambique has been halved, meeting the target set in Millennium Development Goal One. 

According to the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015 Report, there has been a reduction in chronic food insecurity in Mozambique from 61 percent in 1997 to 24 percent in 2013.

Mozambique’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Jose Pacheco has credited this extraordinary achievement to increasing food production, a reduction in annual food prices, an increase in household food reserves, the adoption of new farming technologies, and improvements in infrastructure.

Irish Aid has played a key role in achieving this dramatic reduction in hunger, with our programme in Mozambique heavily focused on improving household food security and nutrition.

Irish Aid has played a key role in achieving this dramatic reduction in hunger, with our programme there heavily focused on improving household food security and nutrition. Our support is channeled through both government and non-governmental partners, and aims to tackle the underlying causes of hunger.

Our support to government structures include a range of measures at both national and provincial level:

  • Ireland is co-chair of the high level donor group on nutrition, which aligns its work with the Government of Mozambique’s Multisectoral Plan for the Reduction of Chronic Malnutrition.
  • In the Inhambane and Niassa provinces, Irish Aid supports food security and nutrition through technical assistance and nutrition-sensitive approaches in different sectors. For example, Irish Aid supports the Directorates of Public Works to enhance water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) - ensuring availability of water for agricultural production, as well as preventing waterborne illnesses such as diarrhoea and malaria which have a direct impact on nutrition.
  • Irish Aid supports community health structures in Inhambane and Niassa through the Departments of Health. The capacity and availability of skilled health workers is crucial for the successful implementation of the national nutrition programme.
  • Irish Aid works closely with the Directorate of Agriculture in Inhambane to improve productivity and food security of smallholder farmers, particularly women. Support includes the sustainable provision of appropriate technological inputs, the promotion of conservation agriculture and diversification, expansion and delivery of agricultural extension, and veterinary services.

Irish Aid also partners with several non-governmental organisations such as the International Potato Centre, Helen Keller International, Clinton Health Access Initiative and CARE International.

Our partnership with Helen Keller International is focused on the National Food Fortification Programme, addressing nutrient gaps in the daily diet of Mozambicans through the mass fortification of vegetable oil and wheat flour. The fortification programme increases consumption of key vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, iron, folic acid, B-complex vitamins, and zinc. The programme targets children and women of reproductive age, aiming to reach approximately 12 million people with fortified vegetable oil and 9 million with fortified wheat flour. Part of our support also involves capacity building and the roll out of the national plan for the reduction of chronic malnutrition to provinces.

Our support to the International Potato Centre (CIP) involves the promotion of Vitamin A rich orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) in Niassa. OFSP can be both a vital new source of income for farming families, and address a prevalent nutrient deficiency that can cause blindness and even death.

The Irish Aid programme in Mozambique demonstrates that a concerted and multisectoral approach to nutrition can lead to dramatic improvements!