Learn more about specific causes in Mozambique that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentAs one of Africa’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, Mozambique has had to reevaluate its climate change adaptation plans. Due to its location on the southeastern coast of the continent, the country experiences droughts, floods, and cyclones. Around 60% of Mozambicans live in the coastal region, which means that a majority of the population is affected by climate changes. Climate change also negatively impacts agricultural outputs, which the citizens rely heavily on for their employment and food sources.1 Erosion is currently damaging the coastline of Mozambique, and could reduce the coastline by 500m in the near future.2 The “slash and burn” method used by local farmers is also highly detrimental to the ecosystem, but it continues to be fueled by the economic value of Read More turning forested areas into plantations.3 Show Less
FamilyThe rapid growth of the young population of Mozambique has put a strain on the country’s resources and increased its economic disparities. The government has recently launched new initiatives to supply contraceptives, sex education, HIV prevention, and maternal health services to rural and urban communities. The government believes this is necessary for Mozambique to reach their Millennium Development Goals.1 Domestic violence is also a rampant problem in Mozambique, and several surveys have shown that over 50% of women are the victims of physical and sexual violence, usually at the hand of a husband or partner. Young girls are especially vulnerable to violence and abuse due to the frequency of child marriage. More than half of girls in Mozambique is married before the age of 18.2 Show Less
Human RightsThe police force in Mozambique is highly corrupt and commits many human rights abuses. The police force is suspected of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, deaths of inmates in detention, and excessive use of force and firearms. The police accountability systems are largely nonexistent and very ineffective.1 Women’s rights are constantly being violated and the rates of domestic abuse in the country are very high. Several surveys indicate that a majority of women and girls in Mozambique are subject to regular sexual and physical abuse.2 In 2014, the National Assembly considered passing legislation that would allow rapists to escape punishment and prosecution if they were to marry their victims; however, after protests and demonstrations from over 35,000 women and activists, the law did not pass.3 High Read More rates of discrimination and violence against people living with HIV/AIDS continues to be a problem in the country, along with violence against peaceful protesters.4 Show Less
EducationThe literacy rate in Mozambique is currently at 59%. 73% of males can read, while the same is true for only 46% of females.1 Despite the fact that Mozambique has a national education system provided by the government, the majority of educational programs and reform initiatives are funded through international aid. There is a significant gender gap in the educational system in Mozambique. Statistics show that 94% of girls enroll in primary school and only 11% continue onto secondary school, with only 1% actually finishing in higher education, compared to the 91% of boys that go to primary school, 18% that go to secondary, and 7% that complete their higher education.2 The schools are not able to provide their students with adequate teaching, and nearly Read More two-thirds of students drop out of the school system without obtaining basic reading and writing skills.3 The educational system also suffers from the lack of qualified teachers and the high student-to-teacher ratio of 54 students to one teacher.4 Show Less
PovertyMozambique continues to be one of the world’s most poverty-stricken countries. Approximately 46% of the population lives under the poverty line, surviving on $1.90 USD a day.1 Floods and droughts are the top causes of homelessness in Mozambique. After floods in early 2013, around 140,000 people were left homeless. The infrastructure is not advanced enough to withstand the damage caused by flooding.2 Additionally, Mozambique’s 15 year civil war that ended in 1992 destroyed most existing infrastructure, and the country is still struggling to recover. The unemployment rate in Mozambique is 22.4%, which lends itself to poor living conditions and the spread of infectious diseases.3
ReligionThe religious demographic of Mozambique consists primarily of Catholics (28%), Muslims (17%), Zionist Christians (15%), and Protestant Christians (12%).1 Mozambique’s constitution protects the right to religious freedom, and this is generally well respected by the government and society. Religious conflict in the country is largely nonexistent, and reports of religious discrimination are rare.2
Clean WaterAlthough the country’s access to clean water and sanitation is improving, currently only 51% of the population has access to improved drinking water sources and only 20% of the total population has access to improved sanitation infrastructure.1 Over 2,500 children under five die each year from diarrhoeal diseases.2 In 2013, the World Bank approved a $178 million plan to increase the clean water coverage in the largest urban area of Mozambique, The Greater Maputo Area. The new water purification system will be able to withstand climate changes as well as tropical cyclones that frequent the country during the summer.3 Recently, Mozambique has begun attempts to diversify the economy by utilizing natural gases, metals, and other resources. These endeavors have helped the economy at the expense Read More of polluting the environment. The increased effects of global warming and climate change have increased the risk of nutrient runoff into surface water, which creates a breeding ground for bacterial diseases.4 Show Less
EconomyIn the years leading up to 2017, Mozambique’s GDP has sharply dropped. As of 2016 ,the GDP stood at $11 billion, after peaking at $16 billion in 2014.1 The slowed growth rate is due to large amounts of external debt held by the country and $2 million in government-backed loans. The overall mismanagement of debt has placed strain on the economy and greatly limits its potential. The biggest challenge that Mozambique faces with its economy is restructuring its debt and beginning to pay it off.2 The unemployment rate is 22.4%, and 46% of the population lives below the poverty line. Significant exports of Mozambique include aluminum, shrimp, and cash crops, mostly to South Africa, China, and India.3
GovernmentThe government of Mozambique is a presidential republic, with the president acting as both the head of state and the head of government in a multi-party system. Crime in the country continues to be a major problem.1 Cities have become hotspots for crime due to a growing unemployment rate among men who migrate from rural areas hoping to find work. Law enforcement officials are prone to accepting bribes and excessive use of violence, problems which go unnoticed by the judiciary.2 Transparency International ranks Mozambique 142 out of 176 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index, and the population rates the government in the 27th percentile.3
HealthWhen Mozambique gained its independence in 1975, the new government developed a nationalized health care system. However, the start of the civil war in 1977 derailed such plans and also resulted in many health clinics being destroyed.1 Now there is a severe shortage in both supplies and personnel. The infant mortality rate in Mozambique is at one of the highest in the world with 68 deaths for every 1,000 live births. The average life expectancy in Mozambique is 60 years of age.2 Mozambique has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world, and 11% of the adult population in the country is currently infected with HIV. In 2016, there were 62,000 deaths from HIV/AIDS in Mozambique.3 Malaria is also a leading cause Read More of death in the country, along with respiratory infections and tuberculosis.4 Show Less
ChildrenIn Mozambique, the health and survival of children is dependent on the welfare of the mother. In recent years, the increased access to family planning programs and pre/antenatal care has dramatically improved the health and psychological state of children. The maternal mortality and infant mortality rates have both dropped dramatically in recent years. One of the main problems children face is the transmission of HIV from their mothers. 200,000 Mozambican children under 14 had contracted and were living with HIV as of 2016.1 Treatment for children with HIV is difficult to obtain; 62.5% of adults with HIV receive treatment, while only 36% of children infected are treated.2 While maternal and infant mortality rates have dropped in recent years, they are both still very high. Read More The infant mortality rate is currently at 68 deaths per 1,000 live births. Nearly 45% of Mozambique’s population is under 14 years of age.3 Show Less
AnimalsThe coastal lands of Mozambique are filled with many endemic species, due to the unique variety of ecosystems found there. One of the largest problems facing the area is the invasion of exotic plants that are choking out the native life. These invasive plants come mainly from plantations that are located near the forested reserve lands.1 “Slash and burn” tactics used by farmers also have a detrimental effect on the forests that aren’t under legal protection.2
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