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Fact Sheets

Agriculture and Food Security

Viable Sweet Potato Technologies in Africa (VISTA)

While Mozambique’s economy has had consistent growth rates for several years, progress has been much slower in rural areas. Food insecurity in these rural areas remains a significant challenge. At least 25% of the rural population consistently suffers from food insecurity, 43% of children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition (stunting), and more than 65% of children under five have deficiencies of essential micronutrients, such as vitamin A – which compromises the immune system and can lead to blindness.

Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Health Centers

The 29 million Mozambicans are served by approximately 1,640 primary level health facilities. Due to inadequate investment in routine maintenance and upgrades many of these facilities are in a poor condition and lacking essentials such as water, functioning sanitation systems, safe medical waste disposal and electricity.  A lack of access to safe water and adequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices creates the environment for an alarmingly high prevalence of diarrhea throughout the country. Furthermore, 16 percent of all deaths in Mozambique can be attributed to inadequate WASH practices.

Supporting the Policy Environment for Economic Development (SPEED+)

USAID has worked closely for years with partners such as private sector companies and associations, civil society organizations, and the Government of Mozambique to make it easier to do business across sectors, put the country in a stronger competitive position, and increase trade and investment. Recent work has focused on reforming agricultural trade and investment policies with an eye on improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers as well as enabling agribusiness to flourish.

Khetha – Protecting Wildlife, Benefitting Communities

Wildlife crime is threatening both the black and white rhino and elephant populations in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation area (GLTFCA), a transboundary area bordering Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Poaching and illegal wildlife trade remains an alarming threat to the survival of rhino and elephant species, particularly in the Kruger National Park in South Africa where populations have rapidly declined as the region has become a lucrative rhino poaching hotspot.

Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG)

In the 1990s, the government of Mozambique created a legal framework for land which recognized traditional community rights while encouraging investment. While the resulting legislation is progressive – land is owned by the state, and communities and good faith occupants have perpetual use rights – it has been unevenly implemented. The majority of rural residents are unaware of their communal and individual land rights, or, if aware, lack the political, financial, and technical means to effectively assert those rights in key situations.

The Gorongosa Project

During the 1960s and early 1970s, Gorongosa National Park (GNP) was considered one of the premier protected areas in Southern Africa, renowned for its abundance and diversity of wildlife. However, after Mozambique’s liberation and independence in 1975, civil strife and rampant poaching decimated wildlife and destroyed tourism infrastructure. In 2008, the nonprofit Carr Foundation created the Gorongosa Restoration Project as part of an initial 20-year agreement with the Government of Mozambique (GMR) to return GNP to its pre-conflict exuberance.

Feed the Future Improved Seeds for Better Agriculture (SEMEAR)

Agriculture is the backbone of Mozambique’s economy. More than 80% of Mozambicans are employed in the agricultural sector with 90% of those being women. Therefore, accelerating agricultural growth is a key means of eradicating poverty and increasing food security in rural areas where poverty is widespread. The crops targeted by this activity (common bean, cowpea, groundnuts, pigeon pea and soybean) are the foundation of Mozambique’s food and nutrition security and a source of income for many smallholder farmers. Nevertheless, the competitiveness and profitability of most smallholder legume and sesame farmers are constrained by low productivity due to limited access to improved varieties and outdated agronomic practices.

Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity (RAMA)

Rural livelihoods in Mozambique are primarily agriculturally based and climate dependent. Climate shocks will likely increase poverty and malnutrition for rural households, which are not currently resilient enough to withstand the effects of a changing climate. According to the Feed the Future Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity (RAMA) Framework, “Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity encompasses how agriculture affects and is affected by climate change and aligns this integration with food security objectives

Parterning for Innovation (P4I)

Despite Mozambique’s recent economic growth and its strategic location in southern Africa, the country still faces challenges in developing its agriculture sector and reducing hunger. The most common is the lack of access to quality inputs and markets. The Mozambican agricultural market has an undeveloped agro-inputs distribution system, with very few agriculture supply shops in rural areas. The few inputs that are commercially available are found in distant urban centers, inaccessible to most farmers.

Feed the Future Mozambique Innovations (Ftf Inova)

USAID has worked closely for years with partners such as private sector companies and associations, civil society organizations, and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique (GRM) to increase investment and incomes in the agriculture sector. The GRM has set forth an ambitious agenda to increase equitable, pro-poor agricultural growth and sustainably reduce poverty and hunger. Aligned with GRM’s vision, USAID’s FTF Inova provides the framework for ensuring that successes in Mozambique’s agricultural sector are enduring, that market actors are resilient, and that women benefit from growth in the agricultural sector.

Feed the Future Mozambique Climate Smart Agriculture Activity – Beira Corridor (FTF CSA-BC)

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) offers a promising pathway to sustainable intensification of agriculture and increased farm productivity, income and resilience for smallholder farming families. CSA is not new to Mozambique, but uptake has been slow due to various demand- and supply-side challenges. Limited awareness and trust in new technologies and a lack of access to markets and finance constrain demand. Further, even where demand exists, low-capacity and poorly functioning systems fail to deliver a supply of high-quality inputs and services to the rural farmer.

Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD)

Agriculture is the backbone of Mozambique’s economy - employing 80% of the active workforce; 90% of the female labor force and 70% of the male working population. Accelerating agricultural growth is a key means of eradicating poverty and increasing food security in rural areas where poverty is widespread. BHEARD aims to help improve agricultural productivity and growth, integrate agriculture and nutrition and contribute to a more robust policy development process in areas such as trade and agribusiness. Progress in these areas requires attention to critical shortages of agricultural policy analysts, research scientists, nutritionists, and agribusiness professionals who are trained at the postgraduate level (M.S. or PhD).

ECOSMART: The Alliance for Ecosystem Conservation Systems, Markets, and Tourism

Covering 42,300 km2, the Niassa National Reserve (NNR) in northern Mozambique is larger than Switzerland and is home to the country’s greatest concentrations of wildlife, including 70% of Mozambique’s elephants and a third of the lion population. The NNR is also home to 40,000 people, who depend critically on the Reserve’s fish, water, timber, soil, meat, and tourism revenue for their livelihoods. Yet despite the Reserve’s size and importance, the area is still little known internationally, and conservation is under significant threat from poaching, commercial logging, unmanaged use of natural resources, and relatively weak management capacity.

Agriculture and Private Sector Development

The importance of agricultural sector production to Mozambique´s food security, livelihoods and economic growth cannot be overstated. About 80% of the population is engaged in farming which accounts for roughly 25% of the country´s Gross Domestic Product. Only half of the country´s arable land is under cultivation and subsistence farmers are highly vulnerable to variations in rainfall and temperature. Low agricultural productivity significantly impacts the economy and public health due to low yields, destructive land management practices, and poor nutrition. Mozambique has the potential to transform subsistence farming into commercial agriculture for domestic and export markets and reduce extreme poverty in rural areas. However, to do so requires linking small holders to credit and agri-businesses or other employment opportunities and removing obstacles to trade and private sector growth.

Mozambique Small Holder Farmer Production and Productivity Activity (MSFPPA)

Agriculture is the backbone of Mozambique’s economy with more than 80% of the population employed in this sector, 90% of those being women. However, the sector’s performance is characterized by low levels of production and productivity due to numerous challenges. These include the adverse impacts of climate change and climate variability (droughts, floods, emergent crop and livestock pests/diseases); lack of availability and access to quality inputs and technologies; soil degradation and low fertility; poor capacity for disease surveillance and control; inadequate veterinary services; insufficient extension services and poor linkages between extension and research. As a result, the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture and Food security (MASA), in partnership with FAO, would like to build its capacity to improve service delivery to farmers to counter the climatic and pest/disease challenges facing them.

Loan Portfolio Guarantee – Development Credit Authority

Mozambique’s agricultural sector comprises an overwhelming majority of smallholder farmers. About 70 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture, which serves as the main economic sector in Mozambique (24 percent of GDP). Only 16 percent of the country’s 36 million hectares of arable land is currently under cultivation. In addition, due to obstacles such as lack of access to financing, markets and quality inputs, productivity of small-holder, family-based agriculture is very low. Agricultural development is the key to reducing poverty. USAID agriculture focused programs use a value chain approach to strengthen the agribusiness sector through improved linkages between smallholder farmers and large commercial agribusinesses, processors, and traders. Productivity, processing, and marketing of staple agricultural commodities are expanded by enhancing access to finance, forging public-private partnerships, providing business development services, and improving the business-enabling environment.

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

Building Community Resilience in Cabo Delgado

Despite having significant economic potential in terms of natural resources and tourism, Cabo Delgado is one of the poorest regions in Mozambique and is a hub for wildlife, human and drug trafficking; it also has the highest illiteracy rate in the country (67%), a history of economic marginalization and high unemployment rates. Since October 2017, the province has seen an increase in violent attacks, creating a climate of fear and distrust in communities. The insecurity has forced families out of their homes and into host communities, overstretching resilience capacities.

Democracy and Governance

Mozambique has made progress since the end of the civil war in 1992 in building a stable and democratic state. However, the benefits of economic and social development have not reached the majority of the population of 28 million, roughly half of whom are under 15. To meet the needs of citizens, government institutions must be more transparent, accountable, responsive and effective. Deepening democratic governance is all the more important to achieving stability and ensuring that economic growth benefits all Mozambicans as the country prepares to reap the benefits from an abundance of hydrocarbon, mineral and other natural resources.

Economic Growth and Trade

Institutional Capacity for Mozambique Private Sector (CTADGP)

Despite strong and sustained economic growth over the past decade, the Mozambican economy has undergone minimal structural transformation. Specifically, growth has not translated into increased employment opportunities. The latest estimate of the unemployment rate is 23% overall, with more than a third of youth between 20-25 years of age unemployed.


Basic Education

Life-long learning begins with the mastery of reading and extends upward into higher skill areas that are a “must have” for individual and national development. High illiteracy impedes economic and social progress. In Mozambique, 40% of adults over 15 cannot read and write and female literacy lags far behind male literacy at 33%. With half the population under 15, education is important to continuing gains in peace and well-being and to enable the country to attract investment.

Engaging Communities to Improve Early Grade Reading

Overall in Mozambique, the primary school net completion rate is an alarmingly low 15% through grade 7 (30% urban versus 7% rural); with a literacy rate for Mozambicans, 15 years of age or older, of 58% overall, and 45% for females. Completion rates have stagnated within the last 3 years due to inadequate infrastructure, poor teaching methodologies, limited instruction and time in school and high absenteeism among students, teachers and school administrators. As a result, less than 5% of students demonstrate the desired grade-level reading proficiency by grade 3.

Strengthening School Councils Capacity for Sustainable Organizational Development

School councils (SCs) are the school bodies charged with monitoring quality of services, improved school management and accountability. SC members are elected and typically include representatives from the community. SCs are partially composed by parents and local leaders who are often adults who typically have limited access to information on how school councils should operate. SC members also lack the capacity to hold school staff accountable for providing quality education, starting with the effective use of available instruction time for improved learning outcomes.

Vamos Ler! / Let’s Read!

Since the end of the civil war in 1992, the Government of the Republic of Mozambique (GRM) has been rebuilding its education system with the goal of providing universal access. Under the policy of free and compulsory primary education, the primary education net enrollment ratio has expanded from 52% in 1999 to 94% in 2016. This expansion has placed pressure on school management, teaching personnel, and the overall quality of classroom instruction, resulting in overcrowded multi-shift schools, high student/teacher ratios, and plummeting reading and math test scores.

Nikhalamo/I’m Here to Stay

Poverty and HIV/AIDS in Mozambique’s Zambézia Province have kept many children from staying in school. About 75% live in absolute poverty where the HIV prevalence rate of women and men age 15-49 is 15.1%. Poor teaching quality, long distances to schools, early pregnancy and marriage, gender-based violence, child labor and negative attitudes towards girls’ schooling are major challenges to the education of girls in Zambézia. Girls’ average completion rates in Zambézia are 23% percent at the upper primary level and 4% at the secondary level.

Eu Leio / I Read

Education is a fundamental human right. In 2016, 94% of school-age children were enrolled in primary school, compared to 72% in 2003. Despite the increase in enrollment, education quality in Mozambique still remains a challenge, with low levels of competency in reading and writing at the end of the 1st and 2nd grades of primary education. As a result, less than five percent of students demonstrate grade-level reading proficiency by 3rd grade.

Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

Gender Equality & Female Empowerment

Mozambique ranked 181st out of 188 countries in the 2015 UNDP Human Development Index, and 139th out of 159 countries in the UNDP Gender Inequality Index. Extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic have contributed to the precarious status of women and girls in the country. Low levels of education, high maternal health risks, pressure to marry at a young age, limited economic prospects, gender-based violence, and accepted cultural norms place women at a high disadvantage. Few girls finish primary school (46%), even fewer finish secondary school (22%), and 56% of women are illiterate (upwards of 70% in rural areas).

Global Health

World Food Program

Almost one-third of Mozambicans suffer from chronic food insecurity, exacerbated by the historic drought of 2015-2016. Nationally, 43 percent of children under 5 are stunted. Micronutrient deficiencies are widespread: 69 percent of children under 5 are anemic, and 74 percent of children under 5 are vitamin A deficient, with negative impacts on growth, immunity and development.

Health Policy Plus: Mozambique

The health sector in Mozambique is faced with multiple financing challenges, limited domestic resources, plateauing donor support and increasing absolute level of out-of-pocket expenditures. This contributes to limiting access to care for people in need.

ICF Macro Demographic and Health Surveys 7/8

The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program has collected, analyzed, and disseminated accurate and representative data on population, health, HIV, and nutrition through more than 400 surveys in over 90 countries.

Integrated Family Planning Program (IFPP)

High fertility rates presents a serious health threat in Mozambique, with the total fertility rate varying from 4 to 8 with an average of 6 children per woman (DHS 2011). According to the National Malaria and HIV Indicator Survey 2015 (IMASIDA), the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) is 25% (34% urban and 22% rural) with a high demand for modern methods of 50% and unmet need of 23%.

Food Security Innovation Lab – Impact Evaluation of FCC -SFCS Project

Forca a Crianca e Comunidade (FCC) is a five-year cooperative agreement implemented by World Education and designed to provide education, social and economic strengthening to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Manica, Sofala and Zambezia. Food Security Innovations Lab, part of the BASIS-AMA consortium implemented by UC Davis in conjunction with other US-based universities, is completing a prospective independent impact evaluation of the FCC activity.

Mozambique Integrated Malaria Program

The Mozambique Integrated Malaria Program (IMaP) is a five-year USAID-funded project implemented by Chemonics International that will contribute to reducing malaria mortality, morbidity, and parasitemia in four high malaria burden provinces (Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Tete, and Zambézia).

Medicines, Technologies and Pharmaceutical Services (MTAPS)

Mozambique has made important progress in strengthening its pharmaceutical systems and improving access to life-saving medicines including antiretroviral therapy in recent years. A new medicines law, enacted by Parliament in 2017, created the National Directorate of Pharmacy (DNF), which is the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA).

Community-based HIV Services for the Southern Region

The prevalence of HIV in Mozambique is 12% among adults 15 to 49 years old with substantial variation in regional prevalence rates ranging from 25% to 3.7%. Mozambique’s HIV epidemic is driven by a complex combination of structural and social and behavioral factors that vary among sub-populations, including: low literacy rates (59%); poverty; low levels of male circumcision; insufficient access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment services; sexually transmitted infections; sexual violence; transactional sex; multiple concurrent partners; cultural practices, such as rites of passage; and gender imbalances. Despite gains made in scaling up access to Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), Mozambique has not yet achieved epidemic control.

Procurement and Supply Management Project (PSM)

Mozambique’s civil war led to an erosion of funding and support for the nation’s health system. Since its end in 1992, the health system has been improving, but the gains are not enough to effectively manage the significant health challenges facing the country. People are still dying due to lack of access to health services and low-quality care.

TB Response

Mozambique– ranked in the bottom third of countries for health indicators – faces significant challenges in the health sector that impact TB diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. At the community level there is low awareness of TB symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment.

Transform Nutrition

Mozambique – ranked 170 of 188 countries on the Human Development Index – faces significant development challenges. The country is largely dependent on agriculture (mostly subsistence-based with small family farms) and is vulnerable to drought and natural disasters. 66% of the population live in rural areas, most live below the poverty line, and one-third is chronically food-insecure with high child stunting.

U.S. Bureau of the Census

The U.S. Bureau of the Census has an existing Interagency Agreement with USAID at the global level to provide technical assistance to National Statistical Organizations in the preparation, implementation, analysis and dissemination of national population and housing censuses.

Support Community Health Interventions to Address Neonatal and Child Health - UNICEF

Mozambique has shown significant improvements in health indicators and progress in maternal and child health over recent decades. However, despite substantial improvements in infant and child mortality rates, preventable maternal and child deaths continue to be unacceptably high in Mozambique. Neonatal complications or infection, malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and HIV/AIDS account for more than 80 percent of all deaths of children under five in the country, with malnutrition as a contributing factor in 35 percent of children deaths.


Malaria is considered the most important public health problem in Mozambique. It accounts for nearly one third of all deaths and 42% of deaths in children less than five years old. Although malaria prevalence has decreased in all provinces, the country continues to face challenges that have slowed the progress of key malaria prevention and treatment interventions.


In Mozambique, all Ministry of Health interventions carried out at the provincial level are overseen by the provincial Directorates of Health (DPS). Therefore, in the area of HIV/AIDS response, the DPS implements and supervises all activities related to the care and treatment of the national strategy of HIV/AIDS fight under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

Fistula Care Plus (FC+)

The high prevalence of early pregnancy and high fertility, combined with the poor quality of obstetric services, increases risks related to prolonged or obstructed labor in Mozambique. Complications may lead to obstetric fistula, resulting in lifelong disability and social stigma. An estimated 2,300 women suffer from new cases of fistula each year in Mozambique, yet access to fistula repair services remains limited across the country.

Efficiencies for Clinical HIV Outcomes (ECHO)

Mozambique has the eighth highest HIV prevalence in the world, and according to UNAIDS, 12.6% of the adult population is living with HIV. While the country has made strides in testing people for HIV and providing treatment, systemic challenges, such as the need to travel long distances to access care, long wait times in facilities, stigma, poor quality healthcare, and inadequate communication about the importance of staying on treatment have resulted in a high proportion of HIV-positive individuals discontinuing their treatment.

Design-Build of Manica, Tete, and Sofala HIV Viral Load Laboratories

Demand for HIV viral load (VL) testing in Mozambique outweighs current capacity. The increasing demand results in backlogs of VL samples throughout the country- this problem will become more acute as demand continues to grow. Backlogs of VL samples result in long delays in the delivery of VL test results to clinicians and patients, negatively impacting patient care.

Service Delivery and Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (COVIDA)

Nearly 12 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Many more children have been made vulnerable because of family illness and the widespread impact of HIV/AIDS on their communities. OVCs are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and are also more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors, increasing the risk of HIV infection.

Support to Malaria and Maternal, Neonatal and Child Research for Centro De Investigação Em Saúde De Manhiça (CISM)

The government of Mozambique has made progress in its efforts to combat malaria and address issues pertaining to Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). However, malaria is still endemic throughout Mozambique, and its entire population of 26.4 million (2016) is at risk. Malaria is considered the most important public health problem in Mozambique and accounts for 29% of all deaths. Among children under five years of age, malaria accounts for 42% of deaths.

Communication for Improved Health Outcomes - CIHO

Indicators for family planning, HIV/AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), malaria, and nutrition demonstrate the urgent need for national multi-channel social and behavior change (SBC) campaigns to promote healthy behavior and use of health products and services across Mozambique. Mozambique currently has one of the lowest modern contraceptive prevalence rates, with rates as low as 17.8% percent in some provinces.

Clinical & Community Hiv/Aids Services Strengthening (CHASS 3.0)

USAID is proud to support Mozambique’s leadership in the global HIV/AIDS response. Through PEPFAR, USAID improves service delivery and provides technical assistance to maximize the quality, coverage, and impact of the national HIV/AIDS response. PEPFAR aligns investments to scale up evidence-based interventions in the geographic areas and populations with the highest burden of HIV/AIDS.

Central Contraceptives Procurement (CCP)

USAID’s family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) program aims to: 1) increase access to a wide range of modern contraceptive methods and high quality services for postpartum women, HIV positive women and adolescents, high parity women, and post-abortion care women at both community and facility levels; 2) increase demand for modern contraceptive methods and high quality FP/RH services; 3) strengthen social behavior change communication interventions; and, 4) strengthen FP/RH systems in strategic planning, human resources, financial systems, commodities, and supply chain management.

Oversight Services for the Construction of 16 Type Ii Rural Health Centers and for the Design and Construction of Nampula Regional Warehouses

Mozambique is one of fourteen priority countries targeted by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). USAID/Mozambique, in collaboration with the Government of Mozambique’s (GRM) Ministry of Health (MoH), created the Health Infrastructure Development Program (HIDP) to support GRM’s efforts to improve and expand health care services for the people of Mozambique.

Strengthening High Impact Interventions for an AIDS-free Generation (AIDSfree) Project

Latest figures indicate that HIV/AIDS prevalence in Mozambique is 13%, with 29% prevalence among orphans aged 15-17, and almost 40,000 AIDS related deaths in 2015. Three randomized clinical trials showed that male circumcision (MC) reduces female to male HIV transmission by approximately 60%. In Mozambique, MC has been practiced by many communities for centuries.

Reducing Aflatoxin Exposure: Nutrition Innovation Lab

Aflatoxins are pervasive in the value chains of key staple crops such as maize and groundnuts in many developing countries where agriculture is a significant contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Mozambique is one such country, where agriculture constitutes 24% of the GDP, with 80% of the population dependent on it as a source of income.

Controlling the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Mozambique is a country of approximately 29 million people challenged by a generalized HIV epidemic. National HIV prevalence is estimated at 13%, with substantial variation in provincial prevalence ranging from 5% in Tete Province to 24% in Gaza Province. At the end of 2016, there were an estimated 1.9 million people living with HIV (PLHIV), with a higher prevalence among women, 15% vs. 10% among men. Prevalence among adolescent girls 15-19 is estimated at 6% and among young women 20-24 is estimated at 13%, compared to 2% and 5% among adolescent boys and young men.

Maternal, Child Health & Infectious Disease

In Mozambique, a country of 27 million, life expectancy is 51 years of age and the leading causes of death are malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS, which has a high prevalence hovering at 12% and double that in certain areas. In this largely rural country, where health facilities can take over an hour´s walk to reach, the rate of maternal deaths is high (408/100,000) and are related to complications from childbirth, HIV or malaria. Pneumonia, diarrhea, newborn complications or infections are the next leading causes exacerbated by chronic malnutrition. The proportion of children under-five who are stunted is 43 percent.

Working in Crises and Conflict

Disaster Response

Mozambique is the third most vulnerable country in Africa to disaster risks (according to the UN’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction). Frequent natural disasters disrupt livelihoods and food production of the most vulnerable people, undermining the fight against extreme poverty. During the last 35 years there were 75 declared disasters in Mozambique consisting of 13 drought events, 25 floods, 14 tropical cyclones and 23 epidemics (Instituto Nacional de Gestao de Calamidades, 2016). The regional El Niño-induced drought emergency of 2015-2016 was the worst in 35 years.

Last updated: February 13, 2020

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