Economy now in better shape
THE SEVERE FLOODS THAT HIT Mozambique, once again, in February this year bore testimony to the strong and ongoing progress the country is making. In 2000-2001 cyclones took a devastating toll on the country.
Over 700 people were killed and economic growth tumbled to only 2,1% in 2001 compared to the annual average level in the decade before (and in the period since) of 7%-8%. For all the economic and political progress it had made since the ending of bitter civil war in 1992, Mozambique still couldn’t begin to cope with those flooding disasters.
Today the situation is dramatically different. Deaths in this year’s heavy flooding were contained to 10. The economy has also shown vastly greater resilience than in the crisis times of six to seven years earlier.
Mike Hughes, spokesman for the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) says: “If you’re looking for a success story of an African government that’s trying to make things better for its people, Mozambique is a very good example.
“Their response to flooding this time is massively better. The government is doing a lot this year to try and mitigate the impact.
“They’ve evacuated everyone from the really critical areas. They’ve made sure that the UN and the aid organisations are all working together to bring a co-ordinated response.”
Standard Bank’s economics department notes: “Normal rains are expected in the rest of this year, and food prices are expected to ease over the short term as harvests enter the market. “The increases in international oil prices and the damage done by the recent floods suggest that inflation will edge upwards in the coming months.
“However, the promise of higher food supply from upcoming harvests should ease overall inflation in the second quarter of 2007.”