Mozambique: EU Supports Increased Resilience Against Drought

Parched earth in a drought (file photo)

Maputo — The European Union has contributed three million euros (about 3.4 million US dollars) to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities for better adaptation to the impacts of climate change in drought-prone areas in the Mozambican provinces of Gaza and Tete.

The project, entitled "Pro-Resilience Action (PRO-ACT) in Mozambique", will be implemented jointly by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) over a period of three years.

A joint release from the EU, the WFP and FAO notes that Mozambique is the third most vulnerable country in Africa to climatic disasters. "With the growing frequency and variability of drought-related shocks, national and individual capacities to prepare for these events and to manage them need to be improved", it said.

Financed by the EU, PRO-ACT will adopt a model of financing based on seasonal and meteorological forecasts, making it possible to take action in advance to mitigate disasters. The forecasts will be tied to contingency plans and to financing instruments "which will be used to reduce losses and damage to the livelihoods of people who are facing increasingly extreme climatic conditions".

The release says the project "will concentrate on strengthening the resilience of small farmers to the impacts of climate change, by increasing access to durable goods, to knowledge and to climate information".

To assist in this goal, FAO "will set up 40 peasant field schools to benefit at least 1,000 households in Guija and Mabalane , two of the most drought-prone districts in Gaza".

"FAO will lead the implementation of activities that seem to increase the resilience and productivity of farmers, by promoting climate-smart agricultural practices, by improving livestock production through better access to animal feed and to animal health services, and by the use of climate information, particularly for farmers and for rural women and youths", said the FAO representative in Mozambique, Hernani da Silva.

The WFP will support institutional resilience, in developing and testing early warning systems in drought prone parts of Gaza and Tete among selected communities that are worst hit by food insecurity. The release says WFP will prioritise vulnerable groups, such as households headed by children, or by elderly or disabled people.

"Since the shocks are becoming increasingly recurrent, and there is less time for the people affected to recover, it is necessary to strengthen their resilience to climatic shocks", said James Lattimer, the interim representative of the WFP in Mozambique. "There is an important role for local government authorities to support these communities and their resilience, which requires additional strengthening of their technical capacity".

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