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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Supports Climate Change Resiliency and Improved Health and Nutrition in Mozambique

January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, January 24, 2013 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$87 million to support the Government of Mozambique’s efforts to develop a climate change-resilient economy and scale-up high impact nutrition interventions benefiting over one million Mozambicans.

The grant financing package from the International Development Association, (IDA)*, the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries provides US$50 million for climate change, and US$37 million for community-based nutrition (CBN) services.   

“Despite remarkable economic gains over the past two decades, the Mozambican economy remains vulnerable to climate-related risks and high rates of chronic malnutrition,” said Laurence C. Clarke, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique. “These funds will support critically-needed policies and programs designed to achieve climate resiliency, better manage disasters, and reduce chronic malnutrition targeting poorer segments of Mozambican society.”

Most of the country's large cities are located along Mozambique's coastline which is one of Africa's longest.   Climatic shocks such as drought, floods and coastal erosion are common, and over the past 30 years, nearly 14 percent of Mozambique’s population has been affected by extreme weather events.  The climate change development policy operation, the first of its type in Sub-Saharan Africa, supports policy reforms that can make long-term growth and development plans more resilient to climate change.   Today’s funds will help the Mozambique Government implement its national climate change strategy across national, provincial, and local levels, and encourage climate resilient planning and development within the country’s key economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, health, nutrition, and transport among others.

"Studies show that climate change-related disasters hit the poorest and most vulnerable citizens hardest,” said Anna Bjerde, Acting World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region. “In Mozambique, floods have washed out roads and homes, and drought and pests have decimated food crops. Today’s funding will support government actions to create a firm foundation for long-term climate resilient growth and help enhance quality of life for the poorest in Mozambique.”

Over 44 percent of pre-school children in Mozambique suffer from chronic malnutrition, one of the highest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. The health services delivery project will support nutrition-enhancing activities for up to one million people living in 28 districts in Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa provinces.  The targeted beneficiaries are pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls, infants and young children, part of the Mozambican government’s push to check chronic malnutrition affecting poor Mozambicans.

“In both climate change and chronic malnutrition, Mozambique will need to strengthen its policies and capacity to really address these pressing development challenges,” said Giovanni Ruta and Ziauddin Hyder, World Bank Task Team Leaders for the climate and nutrition, respectively“We will work closely with the government and communities to make sure these projects genuinely make a positive difference in the lives of the poorest Mozambicans.”

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/228/AFR