In the past six years, since 2007, USAID donated 20 million mosquito nets to Mozambique. The mosquito nets are insecticide treated in order to prevent the spreading of insect-based diseases such as malaria. USAID worked together with the government of Mozambique (located in Southeast Africa) to distribute the nets. USAID donated 20 million mosquito nets through the PEPFAR program, or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This program has helped to reduce malaria in Mozambique, particularly in children; malaria is the main cause of death in those children, and often the main cause of hospitalization.
Polly Dunford, the USAID director in Mozambique, said that USAID has contributed over $200 million for the program to fight malaria in the country, part of that being when USAID donated 20 million mosquito nets to the country. The money contributed covers sprays, preventative therapy, new drugs against the disease, and of course, the mosquito nets themselves. USAID plans to train those in the community, including both activists and health staff, to be up to date with preventing malaria, and to create more sustainability in the anti-malaria mission.
In addition, USAID has helped the Mozambican agriculture. The focus on agriculture stemmed from the idea that a majority of the population depends on the agriculture sector in order to survive. Mozambique has potential to supply other parts of the region with food, according to Dunford, due to its strategic position; all they need to do is organize and increase their successes. USAID has helped with training programs and programs that improve the quality of seeds, machinery, and create guaranteed markets for the surpluses.
Overall, the United States has contributed about $500 million a year to improve and invest in Mozambique, according to US ambassador Douglas Griffiths. Much of that money goes to programs such as the net distribution, and others towards agriculture, or other health-related issues. Mozambique has had incredibly high rates of economic growth, but they still have a long way to go, and USAID needs to turn their attention to reducing poverty.
– Corina Balsamo
Sources: All Africa, Stay Tuned Africa, Bernama
Photo: World Vision: Mozambique