It is a pleasure to be able to share the Annual Report with you and outline some of the key accomplishments of the UNICEF Mozambique team in 2015. We are proud of the progress in all programme areas in the Mozambique office, which continue in 2016 as we work towards a new country programme from 2017-20.
There are several key highlights in 2015 that we as a UNICEF team are incredibly proud.
In Child Survival, Mozambique achieved its Millenium Development Goal (MDG4) target with 79 per 1000 live births. UNICEF support was also critical for cold chain and the introduction of vital new vaccines: rotavirus, IPV and Measles second dose. Together, these will save the lives of many Mozambican children. Through our Nutrition programme, a supply chain assessment was successfully completed, and UNICEF played an active role in the HIV AIDS “ALL-IN” social mobilisation platform with adolescent participation.
UNICEF’s Education programme supported the development of a national medium- term strategy for in-service teacher training, addressing the vital and preoccupying area of teacher capacity, which greatly impacts the quality of education throughout the country. In Child protection strong advocacy by UNICEF and partners led to the endorsement by the Council of Ministers of a national Child Marriage Strategy, with accompanying commitment to eliminate child marriage among many actors.
In the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme sustained advocacy was critical in the approval of a National Integrated Sanitation Programme (Programa Integrado de Saneamento, PIS). Within the Communication, Advocacy, Participation and Partnership programme an innovative radio drama “Ouro Negro” (Black Gold) was launched with Radio Mozambique. Together with the government and partners, UNICEF also launched the SMS BIZ peer counselling initiative on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), HIV prevention and treatment that targets youth. A new UNICEF Mozambique website was launched and our Facebook engaged more than 42 million people.
Social Policy collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and UNDP, successfully implemented a series of workshops on multidimensional poverty analysis at national and provincial level to define the components for a national Multidimensional poverty index.
While positive developments continue in collaboration with Government and partners for development in Mozambique, political and fiscal volatility remain areas for concern in 2016. Government fiscal space has not expanded as expected a few years ago, and large debts constrain prospects for spending across all sectors. An additional impact has been a lack of new civil service recruitments, leading to constraints in programme delivery.
There continue to be very real hardships faced by communities in southern Mozambique as they experience ongoing drought while UN agencies work together with the Government and partners to respond to their urgent needs.
Despite these challenges, our focus and commitment remains strong to improving the lives of children in Mozambique.
We thank all our partners for their ongoing financial, technical and advisory support and we look forward to your continued support in the year ahead.
With sincere regards,