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Government of Austria helps boost food and nutrition security in Sofala province

MAPUTO – The United Nations World Food Programme welcomes a €3 million contribution from the Government of Austria in support of over 5,000 households in Chemba district, Sofala province, prioritising vulnerable children, adolescent girls and women.

Much of Sofala province was devastated by Cyclone Idai, which struck on 14th March, and days of torrential rains that followed. Chemba district, while not one of the most affected by the cyclone, is long prone to flooding and drought, which aggravates already high levels of chronic food insecurity and malnutrition.

Austria’s timely contribution seeks to empower women and adolescent girls, while fostering improved nutritional diversity and reducing stunting. Community assets will be created that improve food availability and diversity, taking account of the specifics needs of women and the imperative of adapting to a changing climate.

Asset creation and rehabilitation is to be complemented by nutrition and health awareness messaging, key to women’s empowerment and reduced stunting.

More than 5,000 households in Chemba will be identified for improved nutrition and health awareness, and 1,500 will be given targeted food assistance to support the building of community assets like orange flesh sweet potato farming, biofortified crops, fruit orchards, vegetative fencing, fuel efficient cook stoves, kitchen gardens, small scale water catchment and irrigation systems, and hygiene and sanitation facilities.

“We are grateful for Austria’s commitment to invest in improving the food and nutrition security of the most vulnerable Mozambicans,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Karin Manente. “Reaching the furthest behind is crucial, not least in Sofala, where over 40 percent of children under five are stunted.”

“We want to close the nutrition gap once and for all! –This is why we are collaborating with WFP which is improving the livelihoods of the poorest strata of life. To ensure a more varied and nutritious diet for women, adolescent girls, and young children is a precondition for any meaningful gender equality”, said Hubert Neuwirth, head of the Austrian Development Cooperation’s office, "Working with partners that advance the empowerment of women and girls, like WFP, is a key priority for Austria.”

WFP will work directly with central, provincial, and district-level authorities across multiple sectors, and with NGOs, to provide technical assistance at the community level.   

WFP’s five-year plan (2017-2021) in Mozambique, aims to ensure that families in food-insecure areas are able to maintain access to adequate and nutritious food throughout the year, including in times of shock, and are better nourished in line with national targets.

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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development.  WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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For more information, please contact:

Neuwirth Hubert, Counsellor, Head of Cooperation Austrian Development Agency Maputo +258 82 614 5160

Milton Machel, WFP/Maputo Mob. + 258823196150