Civil war in Mozambique between 1976 and 1992 devastated the economy and destroyed people’s livelihoods. And on top of this a recurring cycle of drought and flood in recent years has exhausted food supplies in many rural areas, particularly in the northern province of Tete.
Margaret Rumba, World Vision Mozambique Commodities Manager, says that without food aid provided during a 2010 flood emergency, many lives would have been lost in Tete Province due to hunger and illness caused by malnutrition.
Dominga, a mother of five who lost her husband to cholera, was among more than 94,000 people in Tete Province who received this life-saving assistance, made possible through the Multiplying Gift Appeal.
“The floods destroyed everything and we started starving,” Dominga explained. “Some days we could only have one meal, other times no meals at all … My older kids had to stop going to school so that they could help me collect water lily and kunde (local plant that grows in the bush) so that we could have something to eat.
“After we received food, life was worth living again,” she continued. “We didn’t have to collect water lily for food anymore and my children went back to school.”
On behalf of her children, Dominga delivered a special message to the Australian donors who helped them: “Thank you for giving us food, thank you for dividing what you have to save our lives.”
Margaret Rumba explained that the benefits of this food aid were multi-facetted. They included:
- improved food security
- decrease in malnutrition amongst children and pregnant women
- reduction in families adopting harmful coping mechanisms, such as prostitution, dropping out of school or selling assets