Mozambique’s peace and security and humanitarian context in Northern Mozambique is becoming increasingly complex and protracted, with significant long-term impacts. So far, around 850,599 people in the northern region of Mozambique have been displaced. War, violent conflict, terrorism, and violent extremism have differential and devastating consequences for women and girls. Intersectional vulnerabilities can further determine how people are affected, including women with disabilities, women heads of households, adolescent girls, and older women. Pre-existing gender-based discrimination and inequalities exacerbate the impact of the crisis on women and girls and reduce their likelihood of receiving the humanitarian services they need to survive and recover. In order to ensure socioeconomic empowerment and humanitarian support, UN Women and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have joined hands to help women and girls in Cabo Delgado recover from the effects of the crisis. In a new partnership signed on 17th October 2023 by UN Women and KOICA dubbed, “Promoting socioeconomic recovery and resilience of internally displaced and returnee women and girls in Northern Mozambique”, 93,400 women and girls affected by conflict in the districts of Palma, Mocimboa da Praia, Nangade, Muidumbe, Macomia and Quissanga in Cabo Delgado Province will benefit from the agreement of USD 6 million, to be executed by December 2025. The project will strive to empower displaced women and girls to be active players in planning, designing, building, and maintaining adequate, accessible, safe and resilient resettlement housing in fragile and conflict-affected areas, facilitate women’s and girls’ access to sustainable livelihoods and socioeconomic opportunities, and increase the access of conflict-affected women and girls to effective services and protection mechanism.
“This project will help all the work we have been doing in Cabo Delgado. Ninety thousand women are part of the bulk of women and girls who have been affected by the conflict in the province… as activists and defenders of women’s rights, we are looking forward to expanding the collaboration,” said Ms. Marta Licuco, a front-line human rights defender in Cabo Delgado.
Dr. Marie Laetitia Kayisire, UN Women Representative in Mozambique reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to promoting gender equality in humanitarian coordination mechanisms and providing women and girls affected by conflict with the necessary psychosocial support, livelihood assistance, education, skills development and vocational training. “The project aims to complement the significant efforts of the Government of the Republic of Mozambique towards the reconstruction of Cabo Delgado,” she said.
KOICA’S Country Director in Mozambique, Ms. Hyun Jinjoo assured that the agency will work with the UN Women to support the internally displaced and returnees. “The signing of this arrangement marks a significant step towards promoting a better future and a fresh start for internally displaced and returnees. KOICA and UN Women will join efforts to support these women and girls to mitigate the effects of conflict and thrive in their communities by empowering them with the necessary tools, resources, and opportunities to promote long-term socioeconomic resilience,” she affirmed.
The United Nations acting Resident Coordinator in Mozambique, Ms. Maria-Luisa Fornara, congratulated UN Women and KOICA for taking the important step in promoting an environment where women and girls enjoy equal opportunities in humanitarian contexts in Mozambique. “As the United Nations, we are committed to continuing to work hand in hand with national institutions, international partners and civil society towards lasting peace, sustainable development and a better Mozambique for everyone,” said Maria-Luisa.
Partnering to Drive Positive Change
Gender inequality tends to worsen in insecure and violent contexts, and this has been a top priority for UN Women as well as Korea’s Multilateral Development Cooperation Projects. KOICA has been making strenuous efforts for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the last decades; in 2019, KOICA launched the global flagship “Fill the Gap” Initiative that is dedicated to supporting countries to reach targets of the sustainable development goal 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women. UN Women has been a vital partner for KOICA in developing and implementing its policies and activities to create positive social change and promote gender empowerment. UN Women’s humanitarian response strategy focuses on strengthening gender accountability in the coordination and implementation of the humanitarian normative framework, strengthening comprehensive protection and livelihood support to crisis-affected women and girls and strengthening women´s voices and leadership in humanitarian decision-making.
This new project agreement between UN Women and KOICA marks a significant step in the promotion of gender-responsive humanitarian action and recovery in Cabo Delgado.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Women – Africa.