Mozambique: UN Cabo Delgado Support Programme May Continue after 2025
The Road to Sustained Support
Jorge Moreira da Silva, the director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), recently hinted at the possibility of extending the $200 million aid program for refugees in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, beyond its initial end in 2025. The program, generously financed by the World Bank, has been offering essential support to over a million refugees displaced from various districts in Cabo Delgado since 2022. The region has been plagued by terrorist attacks for the past six years, leading to a sharp increase in the number of displaced persons.
A Beacon of Humanitarian Efforts
The aforementioned program is the largest humanitarian project currently underway in Mozambique and the most sizable UNOPS project in Africa. It has been tirelessly working towards ameliorating the living conditions of the refugees and their host populations. The key areas that the program focuses on include the rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure in sanitation, water, energy, health, and education sectors.
Despite the program’s success in meeting its goals in a timely and efficient manner, Moreira da Silva admits that the needs of the region’s population require a response that extends beyond 2025. Therefore, with the unwavering support of the World Bank and the Mozambican government, UNOPS hopes to continue its efforts post-2025.
Moving towards a Brighter Future
Moreira da Silva also expressed his intention to visit Cabo Delgado to understand more about the region’s needs and to plan for how the project can continue beyond 2025. This visit comes after an invitation from the Mozambican President, with whom Moreira da Silva discussed the potential for other projects, particularly in the energy sector.
Mozambique is identified as a country with high potential for solar energy growth, and Moreira da Silva emphasized the need for clean energy access for everyone. He expressed UNOPS’ interest in partnering with the Mozambican government to exploit the country’s solar energy potential.
Collaboration: A Path to Progress
Moreira da Silva expressed his enthusiasm in partnering with other United Nations agencies and governments to work with Mozambique, as he views the country as having considerable potential for growth and development. He also highlighted the agency’s role as the “engineers of the United Nations,” focusing on making projects happen rather than designing reforms or policies.
Lessons from the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the priorities of organizations like UNOPS. With the onset of the pandemic, UNOPS saw a significant increase in demand for its service in relation to the COVID-19 response and recovery. As of mid-2022, UNOPS had committed to deliver Covid-19 response projects worth over USD 1.5 billion across 90 countries on behalf of 69 partners.
The pandemic has also highlighted the need for gender-sensitive approaches in dealing with crises. The COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, which monitors government responses worldwide, has emphasized the importance of integrating a gender lens in addressing crises. This approach can help ensure a more inclusive and effective response to future global challenges.
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