EU supports Mozambique's path to development
BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, June 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The European Commission will fund three projects in Mozambique that will potentially provide 50,000 people with access to clean water; increase trade opportunities by improving an international transport corridor, and support the finalisation of the construction of two hospitals.
Despite economic growth, Mozambique still faces enormous challenges, ranging from weak infrastructure to high poverty rates and inadequate access to education and healthcare. The EU will help to tackle some of those issues by supporting three concrete actions, worth a total of €93 million.
"These new programmes are clear proof of the EU's commitment to supporting Mozambique in achieving the social and economic infrastructure that is necessary to fight poverty in the country. And I sincerely hope that this support will be accompanied by other investments that will multiply its positive impact", said Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs.
Part of the funding will help to provide access to clean water and sanitation for about 50,000 new users, thus accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal related to water and sanitation. It is expected to start before the end of the year. A support programme will help the authorities and the private sector to manage the system in a sustainable way. Out of the €11 million for this project, 9 will be provided by the EU, while the Government of Mozambique and UNICEF (in charge of its implementation) will each provide one million.
A second project (€81 million) is the last, missing link of the transport corridor linking Malawi to Mozambique's ports, and it is thus a fundamental road for regional integration of Mozambique in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). Part of the financing will be used for the improvement of 111 km of a national road, Over 100 km of rural roads will also be renovated, opening up trade opportunities for several agricultural areas.
Furthermore, the EU will finance actions to complete the construction of two important hospitals. One of them, called Gilé District Hospital, is the only hospital in the very remote area of Zambézia. The second is the internationally renowned Manhiça malaria research centre, which conducts important studies on HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis monitoring. The €3 million project is expected to begin in mid-2014.
The main areas of cooperation between the EU and Mozambique - which has increased over the past few years - include rural development, transport infrastructure and regional economic integration, as well as support for the overall economy (macro-economic stability).
They also cover health, governance, energy, water and the private sector; as well as trade related assistance. The overall amount of EU funding over the period of 2008-2013 is €746.1 million. Around 60% of funds are delivered through budget support operations. The EU-Mozambique cooperation is result-oriented. In the last 10 years of cooperation, for example, an estimated 230,000 people have been assisted through food security social transfers, 500,000 pupils have been enrolled in primary school, around half of them girls, at least 100,000 people have received antiretroviral combination therapy, in excess of 1,000,000 people have been connected to improved drinking water supply systems, and 1.8 million people have been connected to sanitation facilities.