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Protecting the poor in difficult times: the case of Mozambique (2015-2022)

Africa
Conflict
Development
Social Policy
Maria Clara Oliveira
Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra
Teresa Almeida Cravo
Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra
Maria Clara Oliveira
Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra

Abstract

Since 2015, Mozambique has experienced an increase in the number of vulnerable people, particularly in the country's central provinces and mainly in rural areas. The rise of poverty and vulnerability is the result of a combination of several factors, such as the economic crisis, renewed violence in 2014, and reduced foreign aid flows due to the 2016 hidden debt crisis scandal. The escalating conflict in Cabo Delgado and COVID-19 pandemic have worsened the situation. Following two decades of progress in fighting poverty, it is important to understand what explains the growing numbers of vulnerable individuals and the measures implemented to address this problem. Drawing on a literature review, official documents, data, and interviews, this article discusses the impact of these emergencies on poverty and vulnerability in Mozambique, since 2015. It also explores the measures enacted by the government and by other actors – internationally and on the ground – to respond to this challenge.