Madjuta Chauque, 23, waits for the results of his HIV test at the satellite health post, Machaze, Mozambique, August 2007. Credit:  Steve Simon/Oxfam
Mozambique has a national plan to tackle poverty but needs international help.

Italy in Mozambique: investing in health care

Key facts:

  • Aid money has helped the Mozambican government increase its spending on health by over 50%.
  • The number of health centers in the country has increased by a quarter in the last 5 years.
  • In the last decade the number of mothers dying in childbirth has fallen by over 50% and the number of children who die before they see their fifth birthday has been reduced by 18%.

In 1990 Mozambique was the poorest country in the world. Since then the economy has grown and progress in development has been achieved. Italian and other rich countries' aid has been vital in helping the Mozambican government tackle poverty.

How has aid helped?

Aid money has helped to reduce the number of mothers dying in childbirth by over 50% in the last ten years; it has also help to significantly reduce the number of children who die before they get to see their fifth birthday. How has aid money helped to do this? Well it is mainly thanks to the Mozambique Government being able to use its aid money to train and pay for more health workers and to build more health centers across Mozambique giving people access to vital services and medicines.

The Mozambican government has a national plan to tackle poverty and ensure Mozambique reaches the Millennium Development Goals. However, its own resources alone cannot finance this plan. Currently, 19 rich countries have come together to provide US$240 million in aid directly to the government on condition that it is transparently and accountably spent on delivering their national poverty plan. One of these 19 donors is Italy, which in 2007 provided €4.2 million of aid to the government directly (13.2% of the total amount invested by Italy in the country).

Despite progress, there is still a long way to go

A Mozambican woman is more than 100 times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than an Italian woman. One in five children in Mozambique still die before reaching the age of five.

Despite impressive increases in the national health budget, the Mozambican government spends under half the amount per person on health than is recommended by the World Health Organization and will not be able to change this without help from donors.

What next?

  • Mozambique needs continued predictable financial support in the form of budget aid that is properly monitored for progress in health to continue.
  • More aid money delivered in an accountable and transparent manner would help Mozambique get on-track to meet the 2015 MDG targets on reducing child and maternal mortality.
  • Meeting MDG targets would mean up to 30,000 fewer children under 5 would die each year, this figure is the equivalent to a third of the population of Pisa.
  • More aid could also enable Mozambique to eliminate user fees and give everyone access to free healthcare.
  • Italy must step up and give more aid to continue and extend its support to Mozambique to help the country achieve the Millennium Development Goals that are in reach.


Other examples:



Germany in Ghana: financing free primary education for all



UK in Nepal: supporting maternal health and free health care