Mozambique was regarded as a success story in political reform but due to recently reopened political-military conflict the perspective is not as bright as it has been in recent years. Despite significant progress in the education sector and health care, Mozambique continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world, with over half of the population living in absolute poverty. Austria supports Mozambique in poverty reduction and administrative decentralisation, primarily in Sofala Province. Priority is attached to agriculture and rural water supply and sanitation. Mozambique has been a priority country of Austrian Development Cooperation since 1992. Cooperation is coordinated via the country office of the Austrian Development Agency in the capital, Maputo.
REDUCING POVERTY WITH BUDGET SUPPORT
The foremost goal of the Mozambican Government is to reduce the percentage of the poor population and the specific steps towards achieving this are set out in its five-year plan for 2015-2019. Besides improving food security, Austria also aims at boosting economic growth by providing funding to the agricultural sector. . A group of 14 donor countries assists Mozambique with general budget support, where funds are allocated to the national budget. Austria is also a member of this group and has made contributions since 2008. Due to current developments which caused concern in areas such as Human Rights, Transparency, Accountability and macro-economic framework, the provision of direct Budget Support was put on hold in early 2016 until open questions have been resolved.
SECURING FOOD AND GENERATING INCOME
Austria has already supported the Mozambican agriculture sector with sectoral finance since 2005. It allocates funds to the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture for sustainable development. Smallholder farmers in Sofala are familiarised with sustainable farming methods and new technologies. Particular support is given to women and to promoting their economic self-reliance as farmers.
ADA also supports the installation and extension of drinking water and sanitation facilities in Mozambique.