Challenges in Mozambique

Topics: Poverty, Millennium Development Goals, Africa Pages: 5 (1715 words) Published: April 16, 2013
By Alina Sandra Silvi

Mozambique, by its official name the Republic of Mozambique is a country in south-eastern Africa which in 1505 was colonized by Portugal. The country became independent in 1975 but in 1977 a civil war started and lasted for 15 the end an estimated one million lives were lost. However, lots of things have changed for Mozambique in a decade; “from being one of the poorest countries on Earth, it has joined a rare group of success stories” (Vines A., 2004). Today, its economy is booming, absolute poverty has fallen and all is due to increased production in agriculture – the main source through which people sustain their livelihoods. “The country’s economic performance has been spectacular since 1994, making it one of the greatest recipients of foreign capital inflows in Africa. These inflows and increasing domestic growth enabled government expenditure on social and infrastructure projects to be doubled. Investment has included the two billion dollars BHP – Billiton aluminium smelter – the largest single investment in Mozambique’s history” (Vines A., 2004) Introduction

This report will analyze some of the problems that Mozambique is still facing because despite the positive aspects presented, Mozambique is still struggling to achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals. The paper will focus on three inequalities although all of them are interrelated and all need to be achieved equally for a sustainable development of the country. First of all, the eradication of absolute poverty and hunger will be evaluated because half of Mozambique’s population is still living below poverty line. Secondly, the achieving of universal education will be assessed because through education people become more informed and develop skills which can help them to improve their lives; someone once said, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime” (Madi M. and Wilson E., 2005). In the end, the report will look at the impact of HIV/AIDS and other diseases on people and at how they can be combated.

1. Extreme poverty and hunger
Every day we hear on the news or read in the newspapers that more and more people are starving and live in extreme poverty. This is also the case of Mozambique, a rich country due to its natural resources, with an economy considered of huge potential but where people still live in unimaginable conditions and got to bed with their stomachs aching due to the lack of food. Lappé et al (1998) present in their book some of the ‘causes’ of the hunger and also prove that they are only myths...myths which can be contradicted. For example, one of the myths says that there is not enough food in the world and that is why some people go hungry...but, in fact, the world today produces enough grain itself in order to feed everyone and to provide them with thirty-five hundred calories per day. The American Association for the Advancement of Science found in a study that 78% of all undernourished children under five live in developing countries with food surpluses (Lappé, F.M. et al, 1998). Also countries such as India, Africa and Bangladesh, where hunger is at a high level, export much more in agricultural goods than they import. All these facts led to a single conclusion: that food scarcity is clearly not the cause of hunger. The main conclusion of the book – World hunger: 12 myths (Lappé, F.M. et al, 1998) – is that hunger is driven by poverty because people are too poor to buy readily available food and all this requires political not agrotechnical solutions. Allen, T. and Thomas, A. (2000) stated, “Chronic hunger is related to poverty and a persistent failure to generate sufficient entitlements in a society”. The World Bank measures poverty by the percentage of people living below an income of one US dollar per day. (see appendix 1, fig.1) The proportion of the population living under the poverty line...
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