Despite a gross domestic product growth of over 2,2% in 2021, Mozambique’s population of almost 31.6 million remains one of the most vulnerable in the world, ranking 185 out of 191 countries in the 2021/2022 Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

One third of the population can’t afford a healthy diet, over 38% of children under 5 are stunted . According to the GNR 2015, in Mozambique, 69% of children of 6-24 months of age suffer from Vitamin A Deficiency; 44% of women of reproductive age are anaemic Such micronutrient deficiencies, also known as “hidden hunger”, lead to high social and public costs, reduced work capacity, and tragic loss of human potential.

According to the Cost of Hunger (2017), the country loses close to 10.9% of its annual GDP ($1.6 billion) due to chronic malnutrition. Although the country has immense potential for production of food, Mozambique is dependent of importation of food (processed and refined), mainly from South Africa.

Mozambique faces a triple burden of malnutrition

  1. Poor diets (76.4% of the population did not have a healthy meal in the 12 months prior to the survey ) are the number one driver of ill-health and early mortality around the country and undermine life chances of all.
  2. Food production is one of the largest victims of climate change and environmental degradation (in the last 3 years Mozambique was impacted by at least 2 cyclones per year that have severely impacted the food production sector). 
  3. COVID-19 pandemic and political and social instability increased inequalities and worsened the scale of the nutritional challenges, particularly for women and children (according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, nearly 1.9 million people are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) in Mozambique, including almost 40,000 people in emergency (IPC Phase 4). About 71% (1.3 million people) of these people are in four provinces: Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Nampula and Zambezia.

GAIN’s contribution

In Mozambique, we work through and build alliances to provide technical, financial, and policy support to key participants in food systems such as governments, the private sector, and consumers to develop and transform the national nutritional food system, in an integrated manner linking agriculture, transport, trade, processing, packaging, markets and consumption aligned with and complimentary to the Government Quinquennial Programme, the Multisectoral Action Plan for the Reduction of Chronic Undernutrition 2011-2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

We develop our activities in a holistic approach, focusing on integrating various efforts into a food system approach that links access and demand for nutritious safe food. This involves making investments in Food Safety and Quality (FSQ), Fortification (large scale fortification and biofortification), Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (mSMEs), Urban Nutrition, Better Diets for Young Children and Women, Workforce Initiatives and Adolescent Nutrition.

Working closely with government and key partners, GAIN aims to enable all people in Mozambique to eat nutritious safe food sourced from a sustainable food production and distribution system.

  1.   Inquérito sobre Orçamento Familiar – IOF 2019/20. Estado Nutricional das Crianças menores de 5 anos e Percepção dos Agregados Familiares sobre a Segurança Alimentar, Pp 15
  2.   WHO/GNR, 2015
  3.   Inquérito sobre Orçamento Familiar – IOF 2019/20. Estado Nutricional das Crianças menores de 5 anos e Percepção dos Agregados Familiares sobre a Segurança Alimentar, Pp 27
  4., accessed on July 22, 2022