ISSN 2330-717X

US Offers $116 Million In Additional Assistance For Mozambique – OpEd

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Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Uzra Zeya, has announced that the United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing $116 million in additional assistance to respond to needs including severe food insecurity in Mozambique.

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This fund is an additional support to the more than $592 million in humanitarian assistance made known earlier in Kampala to support refugees and conflict-affected people across the African continent, and the nearly $1.2 billion to provide critical aid for millions of people across the Horn of Africa.

Uzra Zeya, after a meeting with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, said “With this support, the United States will help around 800,000 internally displaced people, and that the amount will be used for food and nutritional assistance and to meet the health, water and agricultural needs of those who are displaced,” according to the official report.

Mozambique is one of the eight new Feed the Future target countries announced by President Biden in June where Feed the Future would intensify its efforts to directly address and mitigate the impacts of the global food security crisis, which have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Horn of Africa faces critical humanitarian crisis due to persistent drought, climate change and partly due to Russia-Ukraine crisis that has affected food imports to the region. 

This includes $106 million in humanitarian assistance from USAID to support partners to address humanitarian needs stemming from the devastating effects of ongoing conflict in northern Mozambique and Tropical Cyclone Gombe. The conflict has resulted in the displacement of approximately 800,000 Mozambicans, and Tropical Cyclone Gombe compounded the hardship people in the north of the country were already facing. USAID’s partners will provide food and nutrition assistance and meet health care, water, sanitation, hygiene, agriculture, and other critical relief needs.

This additional funding brings U.S. humanitarian assistance for Mozambique to $167 million in Fiscal Year 2022, including $158 million from USAID. A portion of this new funding for Mozambique is part of the $2 billion in humanitarian assistance announced by President Joe Biden on June 27 as a part of the supplemental package intended to assist countries in Africa and worldwide whose people are suffering due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. 

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According to reports, it will immediately address the most dire impacts of the global food security crisis through direct food assistance and related health, nutrition, protection, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene services in countries with high levels of acute food insecurity, reliance on Russian and Ukrainian imports, and vulnerability to price shocks.

The funding also includes $10 million, subject to congressional approval, in development assistance for Mozambique. This funding is part of the $760 million in supplemental funds announced by President Biden to combat the effects of high food, fuel, and fertilizer prices – now being driven by Putin’s war – in those countries that need it most. 

With this additional funding, USAID will help smallholder farmers put climate-smart farming practices into use through better access to improved seeds and by cultivating a wider range of nutrition crops. USAID will also launch a challenge fund to encourage local agribusinesses to test and expand new business models, develop products, and adopt innovative technologies that help them overcome supply chain challenges and reach local consumers efficiently.

Cabo Delgado is rich in natural gas, but since 2017 has been terrorized by armed rebels, with responsibility for some attacks claimed by a lcal affiliate of the extremist group Islamic State. The conflict has displaced around 800,000 people internally, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and about 4,000 people have been killed, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.

Since July last year, an offensive by government troops with Rwandan support, later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has made it possible to recover areas where rebels had been present, but their flight has provoked new attacks in other districts used as passage or refuge. The Regional Standby Force, operating within the SADC regional security framework, supports Mozambique in addressing comprehensive strategic actions for consolidating peace, security and the socio-economic recovery of Cabo Delgado. 

Mozambique is grappling with the impact of Covid-19 for last two years (2019 till 2022), and now suffering from the consequences of current Russia-Ukraine crisis that started February 24. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has shattered the global economy and has created instablilty. With an approximate population of 30 million, Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources. It is a member of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union.

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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