Mozambique is among the most disaster prone countries in the world. The occurrence of natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, drought and earthquakes has consistently had a significant impact on people and the economy.
It is estimated that as much as 25 percent of the population faces a high mortality risk from such events, and the country ranks as the second most geographically exposed country in Africa.
Climate change effects have the potential to increase this risk in the future, and can easily undermine development efforts and increase vulnerability of poor people, who depend disproportionately on the environment for their livelihoods.
This dependency also highlights the necessity for consideration of sustainable resource use and environmental conservation in poverty alleviation interventions, irrespective of climate change concerns.
Additionally, the legacy of the violence of years past in Mozambique continues to pose a real, albeit diminished threat. Residual mines, unexploded ordnance and questionable safety of stockpile depots are issues that demand attention, if a safe environment for sustainable development is to be guaranteed.
UNDP support to caring for the environment and disaster risk management is anchored on the underlying principle that an improved management of the environment and natural resources will contribute directly to poverty reduction, more sustainable livelihoods and pro-poor growth.
Supporting Mozambique in dealing with severe natural disasters
Mozambique is more frequently and severely affected by natural disasters. It currently experiences both extreme recurrent flooding and lower impact floods.
In January 2012, tropical depressions and cyclones destroyed thousands of homes and hectares of crops, affecting a quarter of a million families. It is also forecast that with expected changes in sea water temperatures, more precipitation and more extreme events are likely to occur.
With its well-established leadership position in the area of disaster risk reduction, UNDP focuses on the closely linked concerns of disaster risk reduction, adaptation to climate change, and environment and natural resource management.
The objective of this work is to strengthen the legislative framework as well as institutional planning and management capacities national and local governments. In addition, we advocate for reflecting the needs of the most vulnerable.
We are also contributing to the joint UN programmes in the areas of disaster risk reduction and climate change. This includes the support to the National Disaster Management Institute. In 2009, Mozambique joined the Africa Adaptation programme, aiming at establishing an institutional framework to manage climate change risk.
UNDP also continues its long work in supporting the National Demining institute in implementing the national mine action plan and some NGOs in their demining activities. Mine action, climate change and disaster risk reduction-related inputs are provided to the government’s review process of its poverty reduction plan.