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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09MAPUTO8 2009-01-06 10:15:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Maputo
Cable title:  

USAID/MOZAMBIQUE RECOMMENDS SUPPORT TO

Tags:   AFIN AMGT MZ 
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1. SUMMARY: THE RAINS HAVE COME LATE IN CENTRAL
MOZAMBIQUE. UNFORTUNATELY, THE PREVIOUS
AGRICULTURAL SEASON (2007-08) ALSO EXPERIENCED A
POOR RAINY SEASON IN THIS PART OF MOZAMBIQUE AND
PRODUCED SIGNIFICANTLY DEPRESSED CROP YIELDS. AS
A RESULT, MOZAMBICANS IN MOST OF TETE PROVINCE
AND THE NORTHERN DISTRICTS OF SOFALA AND MANICA
PROVINCES ARE ALREADY SCAVENGING FOR WILD FOODS,
CUTTING BACK ON MEALS AND SELLING ASSETS.
USAID/MOZAMBIQUE STRONGLY SUPPORTS (1) THE
WFP/MOZAMBIQUE REQUEST FOR P.L. 480, TITLE II
COMMODITIES FROM THE OFFICE OF FOOD FOR PEACE AND
(2) THE WFP/MOZAMBIQUE PROPOSAL TO THE OFFICE OF
U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO FUND
LOCAL/REGIONAL PURCHASES OF COMMODITIES TO
ADDRESS THE WEAK WFP/MOZAMBIQUE PRRO PIPELINE.
THE APPEAL FROM WFP/MOZAMBIQUE IS FOR BOTH
SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL MOZAMBIQUE; THIS
RECOMMENDATION IS FOR A USG RESPONSE TO CENTRAL
MOZAMBIQUE ONLY. END SUMMARY



2. WHILE RAINS HAVE BEEN POOR IN THE SOUTH ALSO,
THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE IS NOT MORE FOOD
DISTRIBUTIONS IN SOUTHERN MOZAMBIQUE. FOOD HAS
BEEN DISTRIBUTED ALMOST NON-STOP IN THE SOUTH FOR
THE PAST TWO YEARS DUE TO POOR RAINS. HOWEVER,
THE GOVERNMENT OF MOZAMBIQUE CONTINUES TO
ENCOURAGE PLANTING CORN IN SOUTHERN MOZAMBIQUE,
DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE RAIN PATTERNS HAVE
SHIFTED SIGNIFICANTLY AND IT IS NO LONGER
APPROPRIATE TO PLANT CORN IN THIS REGION OF
MOZAMBIQUE. WHILE THERE ARE NEEDS IN SOUTHERN
MOZAMBIQUE, THE GOVERNMENT OF MOZAMBIQUE SHOULD
BE RE-INTRODUCING LIVESTOCK IN THIS REGION, AS
WELL AS CROPS THAT ARE EITHER DROUGHT-RESISTANT
OR APPROPRIATE FOR LIVESTOCK. THE MINISTRY OF
AGRICULTURE HAS NOT TAKEN ANY STEPS TO ENCOURAGE
FARMERS TO ADAPT TO CHANGING CLIMATIC CONDITIONS,
AND AS A RESULT, EACH YEAR, THE CORN CROP HAS
FAILED IN THE SOUTHERN PROVINCES. THE GOVERNMENT
OF MOZAMBIQUE IS PREPARED TO CONTINUE TO ASK THE
DONOR COMMUNITY FOR FOOD ASSISTANCE FOR THE
POPULATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN PROVINCES AS LONG AS
THE DONORS ARE WILLING TO PROVIDE COMMODITIES FOR
DISTRIBUTION. FOR THESE REASONS,
USAID/MOZAMBIQUE DOES NOT RECOMMEND ASSISTANCE
FOR THE SOUTHERN REGION INCLUDED IN
WFP/MOZAMBIQUEQS PRRO.



3. THE SITUATION IN CENTRAL MOZAMBIQUE IS
DIFFERENT. THIS AREA FIRST SUFFERED FROM
FLOODING AND THEN POOR RAINS LAST YEAR. THIS
YEAR, THE RAINS HAVE STARTED AT LAST, BUT THEY
ARE LATE. ACCORDINGLY, FARMERS ARE PLANTING
AGAIN (AS THEY PLANTED EARLIER WHEN THE RAINS
WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE COME) BUT THEY CAN NOT
EXPECT A CROP UNTIL THIS SUMMER. IN ORDER TO
ASSIST THESE FARMERS THROUGH THIS PROLONGED LEAN
SEASON, DCHA/OFDA IS ENCOURAGED TO FUND THE
WFP/MOZAMBIQUE REQUEST TO PURCHASE
LOCALLY/REGIONALLY FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION IN
CENTRAL MOZAMBIQUE. USAID/MOZAMBIQUE ALSO
STRONGLY SUPPORTS WFP/MOZAMBIQUEQS REQUEST TO
DCHA/FFP FOR A CONTRIBUTION OF P.L. 480, TITLE II
COMMODITIES FOR DISTRIBUTION THIS SUMMER BEFORE
THE CROPS ARE HARVESTED. THIS USG SUPPORT WILL
NOT ONLY ASSIST THESE FARMERS THROUGH THE LEAN
SEASON, BUT WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE
RAPID ASSISTANCE IN THE CASE OF FLOODING THIS
YEAR.



4. TETE AND THE NORTHERN DISTRICTS OF SOFALA AND
MANICA ARE SEMI-ARID AREAS. THE TERRAIN IN THIS
PART OF MOZAMBIQUE IS EITHER MOUNTAINOUS (ALONG
THE ZAMBEZI RIVER) OR FLAT. IN EARLIER DAYS,
THERE WAS INFORMAL TRADING WITH ZIMBABWE.
HOWEVER, GIVEN THE WOES OF ZIMBABWE, NOT ONLY DO
MOZAMBICANS NOT GO TO ZIMBABWE TO SELL (OR BUY)
GOODS, BUT MOZAMBICANS NO LONGER CAN FIND WORK AS
DAY LABORERS IN ZIMBABWE WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH IN
MOZAMBIQUE (AS THEY ARE THIS YEAR). IN ONE
DISTRICT, IT WAS REPORTED THAT SOME OF THE WILD
FRUITS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE BECAUSE RESIDENTS
HAVE BEEN RELYING ON THEM FOR THE PAST YEAR AS
PART OF THEIR DIET. UNFORTUNATELY, IN THIS PART
OF MOZAMBIQUE, THERE IS NO SECOND CROP, SO WHEN
THE MAIN CROP IS POOR OR FAILS, FARMERS ARE
FORCED TO BEGIN TO SELL ASSETS, SUCH AS ANIMALS.
ALL THESE COPING METHODS, INCLUDING A REDUCTION
IN THE NUMBER OF MEALS EATEN EACH DAY, HAVE BEEN
PRACTICED FOR MONTHS NOW.



5. USAID/MOZAMBIQUEQS MISSION DISASTER RELIEF
OFFICER AND ASSISTANT MISSION DISASTER RELIEF
OFFICER TOURED THIS AFFECTED AREA IN DECEMBER TO
ASSESS THE SITUATION, IN LIGHT OF THE APPEAL FROM
WFP/MOZAMBIQUE, AS WELL AS THE REPORTS OF
CHOLERA. THEY MET WITH DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS,
TOURED COMMUNITIES WITH DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL
ADMINISTRATORS AND VISITED WITH THE DISTRICT
HEALTH STAFF.



6. DISTRICT HEALTH AUTHORITIES DID NOT REPORT
SIGNIFICANT CASES OF CHOLERA IN THESE AREAS. THE
SPIKE IN CHOLERA CASES IN MOZAMBIQUE ARE WHERE
RAINS HAVE STARTED AND FOLLOW MOZAMBIQUEQS ANNUAL
TREND OF INCREASED CHOLERA AS THE RAINY SEASON
BEGINS. MOZAMBIQUE REPORTS AN INCREASE IN
CHOLERA EACH YEAR DUE, IN LARGE PART, TO POOR
SANITATION PRACTICES. HOWEVER, TO-DATE, THE
MINISTRY OF HEALTH IN MOZAMBIQUE HAS BEEN ABLE TO
RESPOND TO THIS INCREASE, WITH ASSISTANCE FROM
WHO. RECENT HEALTH DATA WAS NOT READILY
AVAILABLE, BUT ANECDOTALLY, DISTRICT HEALTH
AUTHORITIES NOTED WORSENING TRENDS IN GROWTH
RATES FOR UNDER FIVES AND LOW BIRTH WEIGHTS
DURING THE PAST YEAR.



7. FEWSNET HAS REPORTED ON THE LATE START OF THE
RAINS, AS WELL AS THE INCREASED FOOD PRICES IN
THIS REGION OF MOZAMBIQUE. ALL THESE MAJOR
INDICATORS DEMONSTRATE THAT THE NEED FOR
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE NOW IN THIS REGION.
SHOULD FLOODING OCCUR IN FEBRUARY 2009, THE
SITUATION WILL BE AGGRAVATED Q AND WFP/MOZAMBIQUE
HAS NO STOCKS ON HAND TO RESPOND TO A DOUBLE
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS.



8. ACCORDINGLY, USAID/MOZAMBIQUE STRONGLY URGES
DCHA/OFDA TO FUND THE WFP/MOZAMBIQUE PROPOSAL FOR
$5.0 MILLION TO PROCURE CORN AND PULSES EITHER
LOCALLY OR REGIONALLY FOR DISTRIBUTION IN CENTRAL
MOZAMBIQUE AND URGES DCHA/FFP TO PROVIDE A P.L.
480, TITLE II CONTRIBUTION OF CORNMEAL AND PULSES
TO THE WFP/MOZAMBIQUE PRRO TO REDRESS THE EFFECTS
OF THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN CENTRAL MOZAMBIQUE
UNTIL THE 2009 CROP IS HARVESTED.


AMANI