Fact Sheets

Energy is critical for economic growth across Central Asia. Providing clean, renewable energy and improving energy efficiency can solve issues of national and regional energy security, stability, and growing emissions. Clean energy can provide needed generation capacity from domestic resources and improve opportunities for cross-border trade. Yet, each country in Central Asia is driven by different priorities and challenges in their power sector. Thus, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Power the Future program, which works in all countries of Central Asia. The goal of the program is to accelerate the regional transition to cost effective, low emission, climate resilient economies, primarily through increasing the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency in all five Central Asian countries.

The President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 for the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is $41 billion, which includes $19.6 billion in funds USAID fully or partially manages. The Budget Request supports the President’s commitment to serve the needs of American citizens, ensure their safety, promote their prosperity, preserve their rights, and defend their values, as outlined in the National Security Strategy (NSS).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Last updated: April 08, 2020

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