Mozambique: Unicef Lacks Funds for Life-Saving Services

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that it has only received 29 per cent of the funding needed to sustain its life-saving services for over a million children and families in Mozambique.

In a situation report published on 27 April, UNICEF states that it has used US$17.5 million carried over from last year along with US$15.2 million raised from the governments of Canada, Japan, United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the European Union.

UNICEF warns that there are increasing needs due to cholera, floods, and Cyclone Freddy and estimates that this will require an additional US$89.1 million in expenditure. However, it laments that by the end of March, it had only received US$3.4 million to meet these additional needs, leaving a funding gap of over 96 per cent.

The UN body points out that in March Cyclone Freddy hit Mozambique for the second time, passing through Namacurra district in Zambezia province, followed by heavy rains and severe flooding in the provinces of Sofala, Tete and Niassa.

It calculates that over a million people in five provinces were affected by the cyclone and flooding of whom 73.7 per cent were in Zambezia. Over 184,000 people were displaced along with damage to 98 health facilities, six water supply systems, and 250 drinking water sources. In addition, 967 kilometres of roads were damaged and 2,850 classrooms were destroyed. The disconnection of power lines left many districts without electricity for between seven and 30 days which impacted the provision of services. It is estimated that 134,000 hectares of crops were destroyed.

UNICEF concludes that “the increasing needs due to cholera and rainy season floods place even more importance on identifying additional flexible resources”.