The European Commission has allocated part of its “MDG initiative” funding, worth €1 billion ($1.29 billion), to address hunger and malnutrition in Mozambique.
Chronic malnutrition remains among Mozambique’s major development challenges. Incidence of chronic malnutrition among Mozambican children under 5 in 2008 was at 44 percent, according to the U.N. Development Program.
The program also cites low agricultural production, ineffective interventions and high food prices as roadblocks in Mozambique’s path toward halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger by 2015 under Millennium Development Goal 1.
The initiative focuses on MDGs that are at risk of not being attained by the target deadline, according to a press release.
The money, €67.3 million, will be used as follows:
Improve small-holder farmers’ access to seeds, fertilizer and other tools to boost agricultural production.
Promote home gardens for women and vaccinate chickens as a means to reduce postharvest losses.
Provide small-scale infrastructure and build rural roads and information systems to improve links between markets and farmers.
Support farmers’ organizations.
The funding will also provide support to the national fortification program and for nutrition education.
“Changing people’s behaviour is a key element in reducing malnutrition in Mozambique,” according to the press release.
The money will be channeled to the European Commission’s implementing partners in the country: the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Food and Agricultural Organization and World Food Program. Program monitoring and reporting will be done by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Food Security Secretariat.
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