Basic IndicatorsSource: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report
Population: 22,894,000 (2009)
National languages: Emakhuwa, Xichangana, Portuguese (official), Elomwe, Cisena, Echuwabo, other
Per capita income: US$ 440 (2009)
Life expectancy: 48 years (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources: 47% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities: 18% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 142/1,000 live births (2009)
Mozambique, slightly less than twice the size of California, is located in Southeastern Africa. The country is bordered to the north by Tanzania, to the east by the Mozambique Channel, and to the south by South Africa. Other countries Mozambique shares borders with are Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
After almost five hundred years of colonial rule, Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975. Unfortunately, independence was quickly marred by social mismanagement and a brutal civil war that lasted from 1977 until 1992. Although macroeconomic reforms undertaken by the government have helped stabilize the economy, Mozambique still depends upon foreign assistance for most of its budget and the majority of the population continues to remains in poverty.
Among the greatest challenges facing the country are food insecurity and the HIV/AIDS crisis. Over 40 percent of children under the age of five suffer from stunting as the result of chronic malnutrition. Children in Mozambique are also highly susceptible to malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea and other vaccine-preventable diseases. More than 60 percent of the country does not have access to basic health services; and close to 60 percent does not have access to safe water.
Plan officially opened its country office in Mozambique in November of 2006. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.
Hear from the children
An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.