O’Donnell announces Irish Aid plan for Mozambique
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Liz O’Donnell TD, today signed a £22 million development aid plan for Mozambique on behalf of the Irish Government on the first day of her visit to the southern African country.
Speaking in the capital Maputo after a meeting with the Mozambican authorities, Minister O’Donnell, who has responsibility for overseas aid, said the Irish funding would play a vital role in the process of rebuilding one of the poorest countries in the world which had been ravaged by decades of civil war.
"We are concentrating our aid efforts on education, health, water, sanitation, agriculture and de-mining. We will concentrate on two extremely poor provinces of Mozambique in one of which Ireland is the only international donor" Minister O’Donnell added.
She said the people of Mozambique had to endure horrific living conditions.
"Out of a population of 16 million, 10 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, 9 million do not have access to basic health services, and one in four children die before they reach the age of five. Many of the children die from preventable diseases, often caused by diarrhoea. Clean water and improved hygiene and sanitation can prevent these diseases," she added.
Minister O'Donnell said Ireland was also supporting de-mining activities in Mozambique.
"De-mining has to be a priority. In the last 30 years, over 10,000 people have lost their lives, and thousands more have been maimed by land-mines in Mozambique", she added.
She said Irish Government aid would also help re-build schools destroyed during Mozambique’s civil war.
"Hopefully we can assist in the education of a new generation of Mozambicans who can transform this country into a modern, dynamic democracy on the African continent," she said.
19 January 1999