Mozambique


 

Limpopo River

Context

Situated in southern Africa and bordering the Indian Ocean, Mozambique has a population of more than 23 million and a land area roughly equivalent to the combined area of Spain and Italy. Mozambique shares borders to the south with South Africa and Swaziland, to the west with Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and to the north with Tanzania. Two famous rivers, the Zambezi and the Limpopo, finish up their long journeys through southern Africa in Mozambique where they pour into the Indian Ocean.


Mozambique’s independence from Portugal in 1975 was followed by nearly two decades of civil war that ended in 1992. About 1 million people died in fighting and from starvation, five million civilians were displaced, many were made amputees by landmines which continue to plague the country and make much of its farming land inaccessible. For a brief note on this history download Light at the End of the Tunnel – a note from Power’s chairman.


Since 1992, the country's transition to a market-led democracy has been progressing at a steady pace. However the development challenges are considerable and Mozambique remains dependent on foreign assistance for more than half of its annual budget. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's work force and smallholder agricultural productivity and productivity growth is weak. Three out of four people live below the poverty line. Access to even the most basic services – such as water, healthcare and schooling – is limited.


Poverty reduction is the central focus of the Government of Mozambique’s development plan. The Mozambique Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) is also called the Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA) (in Portuguese). It describes the country's macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs to promote growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs for the 2011-2012 period.


   Power in Mozambique

Power first began working in Mozambique in 1995 when it took over the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in building and supporting a much-needed prosthetics and orthotics service for amputees of landmines. This brought us into extensive contact with the emerging disability movement in Mozambique, and the needs of that sector. So for ten years Power has supported the sector, implementing a significant programme to build organisational capacity, to raise awareness and improve the situation of people with disabilities. It has built dialogue with government resulting in the endorsement by Government of Mozambique of the National Plan of Action on Disability, and towards the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People and the African Decade of Disability’s Campaign on HIV/AIDS and disability. Power has supported the development of a grassroots movement for women with disabilities. We currently oversee programmes across key themes of education, human rights, and protecting women with disabilities from discrimination and domestic violence.