Maputo — Mozambique will benefit from funding of about 14 million dollars a year from the United States government, over the next decade, for the reconstruction of the districts affected by terrorism in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
The funding was announced by the US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, at a Maputo press conference on Tuesday, held shortly after President Filipe Nyusi had granted her an audience.
"This sum will allow the United States government to work on the reconstruction of Cabo Delgado and the rest of the country, and in training young people for employment, and thus discouraging them from being recruited by the terrorists", said Nuland.
To this end, Mozambique and the US will soon sign a cooperation agreement covering these funds. "The fund has already been approved by the United States Congress, and the agreement could be signed within the next two months", added Nuland.
She said she had also discussed food security with Nyusi. Africa in general is suffering from drought, and in Mozambique's case the situation has been worsened by the sharp rise in grain prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"The United States and other partners are committed to solving food insecurity", declared Nuland. She said that 30 per cent of the wheat consumed in Mozambique comes from Ukraine, and is thus held up by the Russian blockade of the Ukrainian Black Sea ports (although Ukraine is working on exporting grain through alternative overland routes through Poland and Romania).
Nuland added that the US will also disburse a further 40 million dollars for food security, particularly in Cabo Delgado.
She also announced a grant of ten million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. These will be used to vaccinate Mozambican adolescents aged between 11 and 17.
So far, Mozambique's mass vaccination against Covid-19 has been aimed at adults, but the Ministry of Health hopes to extend the vaccination to people under the age of 18 later this month.
Nuland congratulated Mozambique on its election to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member. She believed Mozambique has valuable experience to share with other countries, particularly in peace processes.
On her African tour, Nuland has already visited Djibouti and Somalia, and will now travel on to Nigeria.