Located in Sub-Saharan Africa, Mozambique is among the world’s 20 poorest countries.
Large-scale emigration, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country’s development until the mid 1990′s.
Not enough has been done to address farming and land management practices in a country where the majority of citizens rely on local farming and harvesting as their main and sometimes only supply of food. As one Mozambican put it, “we can while there is harvest, but we hunger half the year.”
The Global Hunger Index, issued by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), puts the level of hunger in Mozambique at an “alarming” level. (The one bright spot is that this represents a reduction in the level of hunger between 1990 and 2010, from a level labeled as “seriously alarming.”)
The United Nations annual Human Development Report (HDR) puts Mozambique at 172 of 182 nations surveyed for overall development.
In terms of poverty indicators, the HDR notes that the average Mozambican has a 41% chance of surviving to 40 years of age.
More than half of the nation’s people are illiterate (56%).
And 58% do not have access to clean water.
In a nation of less than 22 million people, 1.5 million people (12.5%) suffer from HIV/AIDS, and it is considered the cause of excess mortality. Due to this and other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria, Mozambique is ranked among the 10 countries with the highest infant mortality rate in the world.
Children under 18 years of age account for half of Mozambique’s population, and forty-four percent of children are chronically malnourished.