UNDP showcases economic recovery activities during Norwegian Minister’s visit to Sofala

February 17, 2020

Norwegian Minister of International Development, Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein, listens to group of women who are producing smart stoves through UNDP's economic recovery activities.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), along with other UN agencies, received on Friday, 14, the Norwegian Minister of International Development, Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein, accompanied by a delegation of senior executives from the government and the Norwegian Embassy in Mozambique. During the meeting, the organizations visited the activities carried out in resettlement fields of Sofala in response to cyclones IDAI and Kenneth.

UNDP presented its actions on livelihood recovery and community construction in the Mutua resettlement site, where about 600 households, particularly with women and the most vulnerable groups, are being assisted with UNDP economic recovery activities.

The actions stablished in Mutua by UNDP and its implementing partners, ADEL-Sofala and Young Africa, foster community-led and people-centered solutions, which include: the creation of microcredit and financing groups; skill trainings; and the provision of startup kits for the beneficiaries' preferred economic opportunity. From that, several different employments had been stablished, such as the mobile charging service with solar energy, the production of smart stoves, the mini-market trading, and the fish and poultry farming.

Mr. Ghulam Sherani, Head of the UNDP Beira Sub-Office, highlights that each economic activity held in the site were stablished through collaborative processes and feedbacks where the beneficiaries took an important role as individuals and as groups in order to decide upon what opportunities they would lead on. “The UNDP recovery facility has three pillars and we see that the livelihood recovery (pillar one) can only happen where the processes are participatory and community-led. At the end, we want them to feel empowered and to grow their businesses with the best they can, while UNDP is providing startup kits and mentoring.”

The savings and credit groups are also pivotal to the success of the business, once beneficiaries can rely on part of their first earnings to keep investing in their services. Jointly, the group members structure their business schemes and try to leverage their work into a sustainable way of living.

During the visit, Mr. Ulstein recognized the joint efforts to the early recovery. “We are a strong partner of UNDP, who is one of the key organizations to develop the goals stablished for the sustainable recovery of Mozambique”. In December, Norway signed an agreement with UNDP Mozambique to invest NOK 30 million in the reconstruction and recovery efforts in the country through the UNDP Recovery Facility (UNDP-RF).

The Minister had also extended his agenda in Mutua to hear back from the beneficiaries and to know how they are evolving their businesses to the next level. “I am very inspired by what people are doing and how they are being capable of recover in such situations with the support of organizations. It is not only a matter of people with disabilities being assisted, but it has to do with rights for them, for women, for the elderly ones, for children.”

The activities being carried out in Mutua are part of the UNDP-RF, which is a five-year program stablished in partnership with the Mozambican government, in August 2019. The program aims at building resilience against future disasters through three components of actions – livelihood recovery and women economic empowerment; community and resilient infrastructure; strengthening of the government's ability to respond to disasters.