For many years, Mozambique was considered a success story in terms of political change and made important progress in education, health care and reducing poverty. However, prospects have deteriorated again due to a resurgent political-military conflict, which has been put on ice by an agreed ceasefire, and a severe economic and financial crisis. Mozambique continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world: About half of the population lives in absolute poverty with rural areas facing the most pressing needs. Therefore, Austria supports Mozambique in reducing poverty not only at national level, but also at provincial level particularly in Sofala, a focus area of Austria. Cooperation focuses on sustainable agricultural production to increase food security as well as on rural water supply and sanitation. Mozambique has been a priority country of Austrian Development Cooperation since 1992. Cooperation is managed via the coordination office of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in the capital, Maputo.
Securing food and generating income
Since 2005, Austria has supported Mozambique with direct funds to the Ministry of Agriculture, thus helping to ensure sustainable and inclusive development in particularly disadvantaged regions. Based on a nexus between sustainable water usage and renewable energy, small farmers in Sofala, for instance, are familiarised with climate-resilient farming practices and new technologies to produce more productively, profitably and ecologically. Particular support is given to women and to promoting their economic self-reliance as farmers. Through close cooperation with the social insurance institute in Sofala, the so far low assistance of the government to the poor is being complemented with specific agricultural support measures.
Water is life - and a human right
In addition, ADA addresses the urgently needed installation and expansion of drinking water and sanitation facilities in rural Mozambique. In cooperation with other donors, Austria supports the national rural water supply and sanitation programme PRONASAR and promotes urgently needed investments directly at provincial level with the project “Agua Sofala”.
Strengthening Democratic Structures
After the national liberation struggle and decades of civil war, the young state of Mozambique did not have an easy start to a modern multiparty democracy. Therefore, ADA co-finances a broad initiative by the European Union to further develop democratic structures in Mozambique. Implemented by International IDEA, this programme contributes to consolidating democracy in Mozambique by supporting fair, transparent and credible electoral processes and by strengthening the capacities of elected representatives and democratic institutions. In all this, great emphasis is placed on gender equality.