Mozambique one of the countries on the brink of food crisis due to COVID-19, our attempt to counter a humanitarian tragedy”
According to the joint FAO-WFP report, 27 countries in the World are now on the brink of food crises due to COVID-19; these include Mozambique where ASeS has an office.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) illustrate a situation that is bordering on sustainability so much so that it is feared that in the coming months, these countries, will be at high risk of a significant deterioration in food security including an increase in the number of people affected by acute hunger. A dramatic situation that our Organization has been trying to address since the first official government news confirming the presence of the pandemic in Mozambique. In compliance with anti-infection regulations, food and virus prevention kits were delivered to 50 beneficiaries in the Xinavane community; the latter contained informational materials, masks, soap and water purifiers, while the food kits contained basic necessities such as vegetables from the community garden.
The Covid emergency, in addition to our efforts to counter the spread of the virus, has forced a revised timetable for our activities in Mozambique.
Three points we can focus on to highlight the work done during these difficult and complicated months:
–the improvement of production capacity with the increase and diversification of local production,
– The improvement of organizational capacity for group decision-making of food-producing mothers
– raising awareness of the effects of child malnutrition and the role of women in families.
Regarding the first point, the path was started with the selection of project beneficiaries, identified through the work of the nutritionist technician who identified the most vulnerable cases in the Xinavane Administrative Post. From the 20 initially identified, this eventually came to 38 units.
The second phase, on the other hand, involved the preparation of community land for the 2 agricultural campaigns in 2020. Thanks to the work of the agronomist technician, a first artisanal well was able to be set up in April, which abounds with water, and now we plan to set up another one this month to irrigate the nurseries. The desirability of implementing a third will then also be considered. The agronomist also divided the land into sectors of appropriate size for each crop by providing a rotation system aimed at the best yield of the land.
The third phase allowed the identification, during February, again by the agronomist, of seed varieties to be delivered in the dry season.
The fourth phase provided technical assistance to community garden producers and beneficiaries or former beneficiaries of the project. The assistance provided took the form of both the creation of training courses , carried out in full compliance with anticovid safety regulations, and the delivery in July of agricultural tools and materials to carry out the work safely.
The last phase, which will take place in August, will involve the selection and subsequent delivery of rainy season seeds between September and October.
Regarding the second point, two aspects were worked on:
– Strengthening the role of women within the household: women have been organized into groups that, on a rotating basis, accompany the community garden activities and thus have the opportunity to practice the cultivation techniques they have learned and to help the farmers in cleaning up the growing space
– Family accompaniment: what is produced in the community garden is distributed to the Xinavane Rural Hospital canteen and to the project beneficiaries for family consumption. The nutritionist technique then makes periodic visits to the project beneficiaries to check the family environment and health condition of the accompanied minors.
Finally, for the third item, a meeting is planned to reflect on the role of women in the family development process and the promotion of children’s rights. The meeting is scheduled for October. Instead, between September and October, a video will be produced with testimonies from the project’s beneficiaries to be disseminated in Italy and Mozambique.