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The hungry country

Mozambique continues to face a food crisis on several fronts

Thursday's front pages in Maputo. Photo credit: Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. Agriculture minister Celso Correia’s comments on victims of cyclone damage receiving food aid (see below) are a reminder of how dependent Mozambique is on humanitarian food handouts. He speaks of 3m people having benefited from food aid in the last five years; but if anything, this underplays how many people are unable to feed themselves.

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Even four years after Cyclone Idai devastated the central province of Sofala, many people made homeless by it continue to live in supposedly temporary accommodation in resettlement areas. In total, according to United Nations officials, some 130,000 cyclone victims are in resettlement sites. The main problem in finding a permanent place to live seems to be the failure to restore infrastructure, such as roads, schools and healthcare after the cyclones. Another reason why food aid is needed in cyclone-hit areas is the tendency of cyclones to bring salt water inland and make agricultural land infertile. This was the case with Cyclone Freddy, which struck Mozambique twice this year.

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