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Cablegate: Fy-2004 Special Self-Help Funding Request

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000198

SIPDIS
DEPT PLS PASS AF/S, AF/EPS - ABROOKS
USAID/AFR/DP
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID MZ SSH
SUBJECT: FY-2004 SPECIAL SELF-HELP FUNDING REQUEST

REF: STATE 19342

1. This cable contains a funding request for FY2004
for Embassy Maputo Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund.
The Self-Help Coordinator is Economic/Political Officer
Loren Dent. The Assistant Coordinator is
Economic/Commercial Assistant Elizabeth Filipe.

2. Mozambique has achieved rapid economic growth,
registering an 8-10% increase in GDP per year, and a
successful transition to democratic national and local
elections within 12 years of the end of a devastating
civil war. These achievements deem Mozambique an African
success story, economically and politically. However, a
sharp dichotomy exists, as economic and political growth
has not translated into increased opportunities or
standards of living for the rural and urban poor. Seventy
percent of the population lives in poverty, and the
country is still considered one of the world's poorest.
Rural per capita income is estimated at $70/year in the
central and northern provinces. Mozambique ranks 170/175
on the 2003 UN Human Development Index and the HIV/AIDS
rate continues to rise, with the national prevalence rate
at 13.6%. The development corridors, which handle
Mozambique's transit and national trade, register
HIV/AIDS rates as high as 26.5%. If Mozambique is to
truly succeed, the GRM must pay more attention to
development needs and provision of basic goods (health,
education, water) to its people, especially in rural
areas.

3. The Special Self-Help Fund is critical to the
Mission's effectiveness in encouraging the GRM to invest
in its people and the advancement of their well-being.
Last year, the Mission was able to designate funding to
twelve projects, spread across seven of ten provinces.
Funds are being used to build schools, purchase library
equipment, counsel youth on the risks of contracting
HIV/AIDS, improve latrine facilities and access to
potable drinking water, and expand agricultural
facilities. Projects are sustainable and benefit
communities. Investments in education, health,
sanitation, and agricultural capacity have brought groups
together, creating critical linkages and supplying
communities with vital resources. The Mission's ability
to play a role in development and be on the front lines
of poverty alleviation for the rural and urban poor makes
a statement to the GRM and positively portrays the USG's
role in Mozambique.

4. In 2004, the Mission is keen to use self-help projects
to support the GRM's poverty reduction strategy (PARPA),
approved by the Mozambican Council of Ministers in April
2001. PARPA is the GRM's top national priority through
2005 and identifies six priority areas for action:
health, education, infrastructure, agriculture and rural
development, governance, and macroeconomic and financial
policies. There are ample opportunities for the USG to
make an impact in several communities in the fight
against poverty eradication in support of this timely and
critical effort. The Mission Program Plan for FY 2006
states strategy 3 for Economic Growth and Development,
"Support the GRM's Action Plan for the Reduction of
Absolute Poverty (PARPA) by delivering development
assistance to rural areas", making PARPA a focus for the
USG. Additionally, aligning self-help projects with GRM
priorities will strengthen bilateral relations.

5. ACTION REQUEST: We request $90,000 in funding for the
Special Self-Help Fund for 2004. The focal areas will
include but are not limited to:
- Health: The USG is committed to working with the
GRM, NGOs, and other donors to fight the spread of
HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. Additionally, local communities
are in desperate need of health posts that offer services
and medicine to alleviate and treat illnesses such as
cholera, malaria, and tuberculosis. According to the
World Bank Country Assistance Strategy, some 59% of
Mozambicans in the more rural north have to walk an hour
to reach a health clinic (34% in the more urban south).
- Access to potable drinking water: On E/P up-country
travel, municipal government representatives and
community residents always site the lack of clean
drinking water as a major local issue. The quality of
water available and the distance it takes to walk to a
well site is a critical social concern. The World Bank
reports that only one in three rural people have access
to a protected water source (and only one in forty have
electricity).
- Agricultural capacity-building: Rural communities
must survive off of agricultural production. Communities
need access to agricultural resources and technical
training to successfully produce for their families. The
hope is that resources and training will improve quality
of life and encourage farmers to produce and sell,
creating small and sustainable business operations.
According to the World Bank Report, most Mozambican
farmers live on fewer than three hectares of land and
only about one in ten is able to sell surplus produce.
- Education: Building educational facilities and
providing resources is a top priority for the Self-Help
Program. Children and young people in villages attend
classes outside and have no pencils or paper. Investment
in human capital is critical to the nation's development
and must be addressed. The World Bank estimates that
seventy-two percent of rural Mozambicans are illiterate.

6. Strengthening the Mission's Self-Help Program is
essential if the USG is serious about contributing to the
welfare of Mozambicans. Local awareness about the self-
help process has increased, leading to a steady rise in
the number of excellent ideas for project implementation
and applications received. A funding increase will permit
the Mission to accomplish community objectives and
support the GRM's poverty reduction action plan.
Strengthening the Self-Help Program is a clear way to
show USG support for an African nation that has potential
to be a well-rounded success story economically,
politically, and socially.
La Lime

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