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Keywords: emergency relieffood crisiswatoto
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Area: 812,379 sq km
Population: 22.9 million
Languages: Portuguese, Makua-Lomwe, Swahili
Religions: Christian, Muslim, Indigenous beliefs
GNI per capita: US$370
Currency: 1 metical (plural meticais) = 100 centavos
Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal in 1975 and became a republic in 1992. During the 16-year civil war ending in 1992, more than 1 million people lost their lives and nearly 40 percent of the country’s population fled abroad or to other parts of the country. The aftereffects have significantly impacted the country’s economy and infrastructure.
Located on the southeastern coast of Africa, Mozambique is bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and South Africa. The country provides access to the sea for neighboring landlocked countries along its 1,531 miles of coastline.
Poverty remains widespread, with more than 50% of Mozambicans living on less than $1 a day. Nearly 80 percent of Mozambique’s residents earn their living in agriculture. Many are farmers with very little land who struggle just to grow enough food to feed their families. They rarely have a surplus to sell, so they are unable to purchase other life essentials such as clothes and school materials for their children. In addition, many Mozambican families lack access to basic health care and clean water.
More than half of Mozambicans are illiterate. For many children, educational opportunities are extremely limited.