The year 2016 has been a turbulent one for Mozambique. The effects of political conflict, drought and low commodity prices were exacerbated by the discovery of two hidden debts, totalling $1.4 billion. Confidence in the country dropped and its track record of high growth and economic stability was derailed. The metical currency depreciated sharply (by more than 40%), inflation accelerated (up to 25%), economic growth slowed down (to 3.6%) and the debt to GDP ratio escalated (130%). This has had a deep impact on Mozambicans, especially the poor. In light of the hidden debts, the Netherlands suspended its support to programmes managed by the central government. The government's response to the crisis, which consisted of an international audit of the debts issue, a long-term cease-fire and Mozambique’s gas production prospects are positive signs for a potential recovery. Despite the rather negative overall picture, the Netherlands was able to achieve results in the programmes supported by the embassy.

Featured project

Empowering small commercial farmers in Mozambique

Mozambique has 36 million hectares of arableland and the agricultural sector employs more than 80% of the Mozambican workforce. Yet, not enough food is produced to feed the rapidly growingpopulation of the country. This appears a paradox, but is caused by the fact that the vast majority of agricultural activity in Mozambique consists of subsistence farming or small scale commercial farming with a productivity that is far below the average of the southern African region. As a result, Mozambique strongly depends on import of food from neighboring countries. Increasing the productivity of small commercialfarmers will contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and increased food security in Mozambique. One of the most important challenges in agricultural activities in Mozambique is the lack of access to good quality inputs like seeds, fertilizers and machinery. To address this issue, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mozambique is financing the Seed Multiplication Project of our partner Technoserve. The main goal of this project is to increase productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in the Alta Zambézia region, resulting in increased financial benefits for rural farming communities.

Key results of the embassy in Mozambique

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Indicator Score Progress

Number of young people reached with comprehensive correct information on sexuality, HIV/AIDS, STIs, pregnancy and contraception

312,156 On track
Number of people reached
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Cumulatively, 312,156 youths (19% of the target age group in seven project areas) demonstrated high knowledge levels after receiving information from peer educators on sexuality, HIV/AIDS, STIs, pregnancy and contraception. Innovative approaches, such as the provision of vouchers for free condoms, were successful with 80% redeemed using a mobile phone.

Number of couples protected by various contraceptives over a one-year period (Couple Year Protection = CYP)

156,376 Progress, not on track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

In 2016, the number of couples protected was lower than planned due to lower condom sales, resulting from a decline in purchasing power (due to the financial crisis). Floods and the security situation also disrupted supply chains and systems. The use of other modern contraceptives continued to increase, due to improved free access in public, mobile and private clinics, and through community- and school-based approaches. Contraceptive use has doubled over the past five years.

Women's Rights & Gender Equality

Indicator Score Progress

Number of civil society organisations (CSOs) with strengthened competences and capacity for effective action

20 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Mozambican civil society organisations have taken up a stronger advocacy role in 2016 and have been able to bring their agenda to organisations that were not previously working on the promotion of the women’s rights agenda. The fact that CSOs have forced the government to improve the implementation of the abortion law is beyond expectations.

Food & Nutrition Security

Indicator Score Progress

Number of farm holders with increased productivity and/or income (direct)

45,022 On track
Number of farm holders with increased productivity and/or income (direct)
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Growth in agricultural production in Mozambique has been largely driven by area expansion rather than productivity growth, which is still very low. In regions that were supported by the embassy, production and productivity improved due to the successful establishment of outgrower schemes. These schemes resulted in more affordable and improved inputs, technical training, credit and reliable market access for rural farmers. Access to these things has contributed to increased agricultural production and income for 45,022 (cumulative) smallholder farmers in programmes supported by the embassy.

Number of people with secured access to agricultural land

571,872 On track
Number of people with secured access to agricultural land
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Significant progress has been made in the rural land delimitation and land registration process. Through Dutch-supported projects, more than 570,000 people (cumulative) now have secured access to agricultural land. This progress stems from the land information management system, which has been improved with the support of the Dutch Kadaster.


Indicator Score Progress

Number of people gaining access to safe and affordable drinking water

129,994 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Mozambique has one of the lowest percentages of coverage of people with access to safe water and improved sanitation. Through Dutch support to the Mozambican national institutions for water supply in big towns (FIPAG) and small towns (AIAS), approximately 130,000 additional people gained access to safe and affordable drinking water in 2016. The embassy also assisted these institutions in improving their financial management and their operations to reduce water losses. This will help them to attract more investment and accelerate the provision of safe drinking water to more people.

Number of people benefiting from improved river basin management and safer deltas

650,000 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

In 2016, the embassy supported a water allocation model to predict the availability of water under changing climatological conditions (droughts) in the southern region. Half a million inhabitants of the Incomati basin will benefit from the model. Furthermore, a plan was developed to protect the raw water supply of the city of Tete, from which 150,000 people will benefit.

Background & future

Interpretation of the results in context

In 2016, disbursements to programmes managed by the central government were suspended (€ 10.2 million). To spare the Mozambican population, € 5 million was re-allocated through alternative channels to projects in SRHR and food security.
In the health sector, the disbursement to basket fund Prosaude (€ 8 million) was suspended. However, results did not immediately change, since medical supplies were ensured until the end of 2016. In the water sector, the redesign of institutional support to the Ministry of Water was delayed. Results in social protection were not realised, as the implementing governmental organisation was affected.
For the activities that were not affected by the suspension, results were satisfactory and occasionally exceeded expectations.
In the agricultural sector, production and productivity increased through the use of outgrower schemes. Improved co-ordination between land stakeholders contributed to the good performance of the sector. In the water sector, further investments in water supply will provide access to water to an additional 37,000 people by 2020. Preparations for investments in the water supply for Beira are approved for financing under the Develop to Build programme. In health, more vouchers for free condoms were handed out in than in 2015, but PSI sold only half of the planned target number of condoms. The regional HIV/AIDS programme was restructured: three new consortia were selected, covering 10 Southern African Development Committee (SADC) countries.

Glimpse into the future

Despite a previous decade of sustained economic progress, almost 50% of Mozambican people still live below the poverty line. The challenge remains to ensure that future wealth from natural resources is deployed with transparency, to spur growth in the non-megaproject economy and lift the poor to prosperity. Restoring economic stability and confidence remain key priorities for the government in 2017. In the short term, much depends on the outcome of the debt negotiations and the transparent handling of the independent audit. A favourable outcome may trigger re-engagement of the international donor community, including the Netherlands, with the central government. In the final year of the Netherlands' current multi-annual strategic plan, Dutch interventions will continue to focus on promoting sustainable, inclusive growth and reaching the poorest members of the Mozambican population. In the public health sector, alternative routes will be explored to realise better and more pro-poor results.

Financial summary

Total expenditure Embassy € 29,307,235

Expenditure 2016 per theme

Expenditure 2016 per channel