Thursday, 25 July 2019

Mozambique: how soon we forget

"People across central Mozambique are struggling to rebuild their lives - four months on from two devastating cyclones. Nearly 650 people were killed and more than 160,000 were displaced after cyclones Idai and Kenneth tore through parts of southern Africa. Many are still waiting to return to what is left of their homes."

This report is from last week, but one fears that little has changed.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Hanging over Mozambique, and not likely to recede before the floods do, are unacceptable debts. The Jubilee Debt Campaign explains the source of these debts, which the people of Mozambique had no say over and no benefit from:

In 2013 and 2014 three loans, worth a total of $2 billion, were given to three state-owned companies in Mozambique by the London branches of Credit Suisse and VTB. The loans were guaranteed by then Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang. None of the loans were agreed by the Mozambique parliament and two were kept secret.

Some of the money was spent on a tuna fishing fleet and speed boats, which sit unused in Maputo harbour, along with associated equipment. However, an independent audit has revealed that at least $700 million is unaccounted for. A US Department of Justice indictment claims that at least $200 million of bribes and kickbacks were paid to bankers, suppliers and Mozambique government officials as part of the deals.

Mozambique's foreign debt payments are now over 20% of the government's annual revenue, and the squeeze on public finances has meant cuts in public spending by a huge 30% per person between 2014 and 2019, impacting the wages of public sector workers and access to basic services like healthcare and education.