Mozambique HungerA country ravaged by war, Mozambique has many societal issues that need to be dealt with, and one of the stricken country’s biggest shortcomings is food. With 24.5 million inhabitants, one-third are chronically food-insecure with half of a million children ages six to 23 months being undernourished.

Underlying causes include inadequate nutritional intake due to poor diet diversity, low meal frequency, poor breastfeeding practices, high levels of disease and teenage pregnancy. The high incidence of HIV infection further aggravates the malnutrition that people suffer.

The U.N., the World Food Programme and The Hunger Project have all come together to help fight hunger in Mozambique. Mozambique is a “Delivering as One” country meaning that all U.N. agencies, if logistically capable, contribute toward a U.N. Development Assistance Framework. The UNDAF and the WFP have aligned priorities in Mozambique, and Mozambique is benefiting from it.

The WFP has two distinct programs that are set to run this year: the Country Program, or CP, and the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation, or PRRO.

CP pursues the WFP’s transition from food aid to food assistance, supporting and enhancing government programs to constitute sustainable, national solutions to food insecurity through prevention, protection and promotion. The program attempts to stimulate local economies using innovative delivery methods of payment such as cash, vouchers and mobile phone transfers.

The five main components of the CP are school meals, social protection, nutrition, risk reduction and market access.

WFP’s other program dedicated to fighting hunger in Mozambique, PRRO, provides food assistance in support of response and early recovery activities, targeting the disaster-affected as well as displaced persons who have sought refuge in Mozambique. CP is a program centered on sustainability and growth while PRRO is centered on disaster relief due to the surrounding circumstances of the location of Mozambique. The key approaches of the PRRO are relief activities (sudden onset emergency), early recovery activities (post-relief assistance) and capacity development.

WFP and the U.N. aren’t the only ones that are fighting the hunger in Mozambique; The Hunger Project is also on the front line. THP works to build sustainable community-based programs using their Epicenter Strategy. An epicenter is a dynamic center of community mobilization and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Epicenters bring together 15,000-20,000 people from rural villages and give the groups a voice that has more influence than if they did not band together.

In Mozambique, there are three epicenters. These epicenters serve a population of about 22,200 partners in 10 villages. With the epicenters functioning at full capacity, the local areas will see an increase in economic sustainability and, therefore, more food security.

The U.N., the World Food Programme and The Hunger Project have all been aiding Mozambique for the past decade. Together these organizations have been providing beneficial practices spanning from immediate emergency relief to sustainability to community building programs.

– Erik Nelson

Sources: The Hunger Project, World Food Porgramme

Photo: Flickr