The Republic of Mozambique, a country in the Southeast Africa has more than 30 million populations and, according to statistics, more than 52 per cent of them are children under the age 18 (Humanium, 2020). Considering the poor living conditions in the country, admittedly, an appropriate provision of clean water, healthy nutrition, education and the protection of children’s rights is not fully guaranteed. Unfortunately, the situation becomes even worse when unexpected natural disasters occur within its territory. The analysis of several data on children’s status in Mozambique showed that United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is having a significant effect on improving the situation in the country, especially, when they are suffering from the terrible consequences of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth. The main purpose of this policy brief is to evaluate the extent to which the visit of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to Mozambique on May 30, 2019 was useful for children living in severe conditions after destruction caused by tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth.
The central part of the Republic of Mozambique underwent an extreme aftermath of Cyclone Idai in April, and after a month northern regions of the country experienced flooding caused by the Cyclone Kenneth in 2019. According to the data, these were the worst natural disasters occurred in southern Africa in last two decades, which resulted in the death of more than 640 people (UNICEF, 2019a). The total number of citizens affected by these natural catastrophes accounted for about 2,5 million, including 1,3 million children. Moreover, harsh conditions affected more than 40000 students, about 67500 children with age under 5 suffered from severe malnutrition, almost all citizens were in need for humanitarian assistance.
In this harsh condition UNICEF took an initiative “to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs …” and also to contribute “…special protection for the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence…” as it was stated on the list of its missions. A special visit was conducted by the Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF on 30th of May to Beira, a territory which was worst affected by the Cyclone Idai in March. In this area more than 600 people were dead and about 240000 houses were ruined because of that extreme catastrophe.
Approach and Results
During his visit, Bloom listened to sad stories of children, who lost their parents, homes, schools and many other things they possessed before cyclones came about. In addition to this, he studied the condition at schools and homes. These investigations revealed that most of the people had lost their identification documents in the cyclones and were suffering from the dangers of exploitation, children were in need for classrooms and books to be able to continue their education. Furthermore, Bloom visited to a resettlement area called Mutua, located in Beira. The main reason for visiting exactly to this part of the country was that the
area was home to more than one and a half million people who were affected by the cyclones, and that almost half out of them were children. Bloom also visited to one of the primary schools in Beira, which was repaired by students themselves after destruction caused by the reported natural disaster. It is worthy to mention that, during his visit to Mozambique, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador prior to delivering humanitarian aids could spiritually support children through encouraging them to dream about the future and tell about their hopes (UNICEF, 2019b).
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After this visit, in line with Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019-2020 UNICEF estimated that more than $83 million was going to be required to make improvements in the life of children and their families.
According to the report published on Humanitarian Action for children 2019-2020, almost 52 per cent of the fund was committed till the end of 2019 (OCHA, 2019a). In some provinces more than 1,5 million people were provided with safe water, about a million children received cholera or measles vaccination and 464000 children had an access to education provided by ten thousand teachers. At some regions UNICEF achieved more than what it targeted as the entire priority was supporting only the citizens affected by the cyclones. Admittedly, at some areas results were not as expected due to the lack of teachers, specialists, the supply of certain resources, limited access and the capacity of the government (UNICEF, 2019c).
Despite such big efforts to improve children’s life in Mozambique over 8-months period from May to December in 2019, there still exists a huge number of children and families enduring insecure food, the lack of clean water, lack of education, child exploitation and so many other troubles and overall about 2,5 million population of Mozambique are in need for life-sustaining assistance (OCHA, 2019b). According to Humanitarian action for Children 2020, more than $20,5 million is required to continue restoration, food provision activities and other projects for the protection of children’s rights in 2020.
In summary, the visit of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Orlando Bloom to Mozambique was practically invaluable for population, especially for children. Through this visit UNICEF was the first to show enthusiastic initiative to support children and their families after the natural catastrophe of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth (Appendix A). Projects that were conducted to promote healthy nutrition, safe water and education, fighting against severe aftermath of the cyclones, to some extent showed positive results. However, as it was stated above, several limitations need to be acknowledged. The existing issues are not completely solved yet (Appendices B and C) and therefore UNICEF continues its assisting operations in accordance with Humanitarian action for Children in 2020 in the country.
According to UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 (2019), UNICEF keeps its ongoing activities to help children and their families during and after accidents or crises. Thus, it is obvious that, what Orlando Bloom faced during his visit to Mozambique after natural disasters of cyclones Idai and Kenneth, may one day totally disappear and become a country with healthy and educated population Although the above reported figures do not indicate absolutely satisfactory achievements of UNICEF Humanitarian assistance in Mozambique in 2019, Bloom’s first visit worth to be regarded as an active initiative to save children’s life, the life of all humanity living in danger.
- Humanium. (2020). Children of Mozambique. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2020].
- UNICEF. (2003). UNICEF’s Mission Statement. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2020].
- UNICEF. (2019a). Mozambique. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2020].
- UNICEF. (2019b). UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom Visits Children Displaced By Cyclone Idai In Mozambique. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2020].
- UNICEF (2019c). Humanitarian Action For Children. [ebook] UNICEF, p.1. Available at: [Accessed 18 March 2020].
- UNICEF (2019d). UNICEF Humanitarian Action For Children 2020. [ebook] UNICEF, pp. 3-11. Available at: [Accessed 18 March 2020].
- OCHA. (2019a). Humanitarian Action For Children 2019 – 2020 – Mozambique (Revised September 2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 March 2020].
- OCHA. (2019b). Mozambique: Humanitarian Dashboard (As Of 18 December 2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 March 2020].
- OCHA. (2019c). Mozambique Cyclone Idai: Six Months After (16 September 2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 March 2020].