The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Sub-regional Coordinator for Southern Africa (SRC/SFS), Dr Patrice Talla, travelled to the Republic of Mozambique from 31 October 2021 to 7 November 2021 to reaffirm FAO’s commitment to supporting the Government of Mozambique in addressing the rising food insecurity and livelihood needs of the most vulnerable people across the country.
The FAO subregional mission to Mozambique took place against the backdrop of a complex humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado, which has left some 745 000 people internally displaced in northern Mozambique as of October 2021. High exposure to recurrent and intensified cyclones, drought and floods – compounded by insecurity in the north and the COVID-19 pandemic – already made Mozambique vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity. Now, the country is seeing a rise in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at a time when rural populations should be preparing for their main cropping season.
During his mission, the FAO SRC/SFS met with senior officials from the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, including the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Minister of Land and Environment, and the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries. Over the course of the eight-day mission, the FAO SRC/SFS also met with various humanitarian and development partners, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mozambique, in addition to representatives from the Government of the United States of America, the European Union Delegation and the German Development Cooperation in Mozambique.
At key stakeholder meetings, the FAO SRC/SFS underscored the need to work closely with the Government of Mozambique. He affirmed FAO’s “commitment at all levels, including the subregional level, to support the Government and its priorities within the framework of eliminating hunger, malnutrition and poverty. In doing so, the Organization will continue to deepen relations and widen collaboration within the scope of its partnership with the Government of Mozambique.”
The FAO SRC/SFS, together with the FAO Representative to Mozambique, Mr Hernani Coelho da Silva, subsequently travelled to Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, where they met Provincial and District Government Officials and the FAO team in Pemba, Mozambique. Accompanied by the United Nations Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, members of the field mission bore witness to FAO-implemented chicken distribution activities in support of small-scale poultry production, which is helping enhance the food security and resilience of families recently affect by conflict.
In reflecting on his field mission to Cabo Delgado, Dr Talla noted, “Low-cost high-impact interventions like providing chickens, coupled with training on backyard poultry production, can yield quick returns for the IDPs – whereby households have access to eggs, meat and income in a short period of time – and the hope and dignity for a better future.” Mr Coelho da Silva underscored, “In close collaboration with local actors on the ground, there is need for sustained assistance that reflect such innovative approaches, which not only diversify agriculture-based livelihoods, but also build household resilience to better cope in multi-hazard environments, like northern Mozambique, thereby safeguarding families from falling into higher levels of food and nutrition insecurity”.
In 2021, FAO launched the three-year Agriculture Livelihood Response Plan (ALRP) for northern Mozambique. The overall aim of the plan is to immediately enhance the food and nutrition security of 100 000 households of the IDP and host communities affected by conflict, while laying the foundation to sustainably build resilient livelihoods against future climatic shocks and stressors. With support from the Government of the United States of America, the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, FAO continues to scale up its interventions in northern Mozambique to ensure that emergency response interventions lay a foundation for longer-term development.
In order for FAO to support the government in meeting rising food and nutrition needs in the country, the Organization is appealing for USD 15 million by the first quarter of 2022.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.