Mozambique is one of the most impoverished countries in the world, having emerged from a long and destructive civil war that lasted 16 years and ended in 1992. Two decades of peace and stability following the war have allowed the country to recover significantly in both social and economic spheres. In 2013 real GDP posted robust 7 percent growth, although lower than expected due to severe floods early in the year. According to the African Development Bank, the progressive increase in coal production and the implementation of large infrastructure projects, coupled with budgetary expansion, are expected to continue to drive growth, projected at 8.5 percent in 2014 and 8.2 percent in 2015.
The significant economic growth, however, has not yet translated into structural changes necessary to sustain the country’s capacity to reduce poverty and foster human development. According to the UNDP 2014 Human Development Index, the country ranks at 178 out of 187 countries. It has some 24.5 million inhabitants and an average life expectancy of only 50 years. One third of the population is chronically food-insecure, and half a million children aged 6-23 months are undernourished. Malnutrition in children under five remains alarmingly high at 43 percent. Underlying causes include inadequate nutritional intake due to poor diet diversity, low meal frequency, poor breastfeeding practices, high levels of disease and teenage pregnancy. Vitamin A and iron deficiencies in children under five are high, at 69 and 74 percent respectively.
These problems are further aggravated by the high incidence of HIV infection (11.1 percent - UNAIDS Assessment, 2012). This affects the most productive segment of the population, reducing household savings and the number of skilled workers. Small-scale cultivation is the basis of the nation’s agricultural production and an important source of income for most rural women. Recurrent climatic shocks such as drought, floods and cyclones, however, compromise income from farming and contribute to food insecurity, while also causing loss of life, ruined livelihoods and damaged infrastructure.
Among African countries, Mozambique is the third most affected by weather-related hazards. While the southern and central regions are drought-prone, floods occur every two to three years along the major river basins and in the poorly-drained urban settlements. In 2014, mild floods were registered during the period February to March causing damage in infrastructure and agricultural land in the Incomati river basin and the central and Northern provinces
The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), which has been extended up to 2016, is fully aligned with national priorities outlined in the government's five year plan, the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2011-2014) and national sector policies. Mozambique is a United Nations 'Delivering as One' country.