Mozambique | ActionAid UK


Update: ActionAid is currently responding in Mozambique after the devastation of Cyclone Idai, which struck southern Africa on Thursday 14th March.

An estimated 2.6 million people have been affected by the disaster, and at least 480 have been confirmed dead. Thousands of people are still in urgent need in Mozambique. Please donate to the appeal today. 

ActionAid began work in Mozambique in 1987, initially providing emergency relief to people fleeing the civil war which lasted for 16 years and left millions dead or displaced. Today our key areas of work include ending hunger, education and women’s rights.

Why we work in Mozambique

Despite being one of the world’s fastest emerging economies, more than half of Mozambique’s population live below the poverty line. Although the country’s rich natural resources have attracted recent foreign investment, the benefits have failed to reach the majority of people.

Flooding, drought and erratic rainfall in Mozambique make farming a challenge for families already living below the poverty line. In 2013 flooding was so severe that 118,000 people were forced to leave their homes and farms. On top of this, most women do not own the land they farm, despite the fact that 90% of farmers here are women.

  • 48
    48% of girls are married by their 18th birthday.1
  • 33
    1/3 of the population does not have access to sufficient food.2
  • 49
    49% of adults can’t read and write.3

Women are not treated equally in Mozambique. Nearly half of all women are forced to marry before their 18th birthday. It is also common for women to face traditional practices such as “Kutxinga” or widow purification — where they are forced to marry their late husband’s younger brothers.

Although Mozambique has achieved over 90% enrolment in primary education, (compared to just 56% in 1995), drop-out rates are still high, and it is mostly girls who are missing out on a full education. Nearly half of women are illiterate, and many are unaware of their rights to basic services such as healthcare.

Projects of Lugela - Mozambique

Women at an ActionAid supported Reflect Circle that meets twice a week, where they talk about challenges they face, focussing on violence against women, the empowerment of women, and different ways of generating their own income.

Photo: Fabio Erdos / ActionAid

What we do in Mozambique

Through supporting farming associations, ActionAid helps thousands of women to access and control the land they work on, and increase the amount of food they produce. We train women in sustainable farming methods, enabling them to plant diverse and resilient crops that will grow throughout the year and boost their income. We also support families who have been affected by floods by providing emergency food supplies, shelter, and seeds to replant crops.

ActionAid works with women’s groups, police officers, teachers and students to raise awareness of the dangers of harmful traditional practices, and to reinforce the protection of women and girls in their everyday lives – at home, in school, at work on public transport and in market places. We support thousands of women and girls, offering workshops on how to identify and report incidences of violence and to follow-up with local courts and tribunals.

To improve education opportunities for women, we support groups where they can learn to read and write. The groups also play a fundamental role in raising adults’ awareness of the barriers to children getting an education, and come up with ways in which children – particularly girls — could be encouraged to return to school. We also train and support school councils which bring together children, parents, teachers and the wider community to tackle issues like drop-out rates and making schools safe for girls.

How we’re changing lives for good in Mozambique

Read stories of women and girls we’re helping.


Photos: Fabio Erdos/ActionAid, Ernanio Mandlate/KISAI/ActionAid