U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Dressel’s Remarks on the on the USAID DOAG Signing Ceremony
Thursday, 31 March 2022
Your Excellency Verónica Macamo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation;
Dr. Santos Álvaro, Director of the Department for Europe and the Americas;
Distinguished National Directors of the Ministries of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Human Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Land and Environment;
USAID Mission Director and dear USAID colleagues;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What an honor it is to be here today, together, as we officially enter into this new agreement between the governments of Mozambique and the United States of America to frame our development cooperation priorities. This agreement details how USAID and the Government of Mozambique will work together to program over $1.5 billion in development assistance over the next five years.
Thank you, Minister Macamo for hosting us here today and for your continued support and partnership with the United States.
I would also like to thank Dr. Santos Alvaro for his unwavering support of U.S. and Mozambique relations and for helping us get to this moment of signature.
The U.S. Government began our development partnership with Mozambique 38 years ago, during the decade following independence, with humanitarian responses to natural disasters. In response to droughts in the 90s, USAID provided substantial food and other assistance. Following the Peace Agreement that ended 16 years of civil war, USAID responded to emergency needs like providing food, water, and health services, supported the peace process, and assisted with demobilization, demining, elections, and reconstruction. Needless to say, the United States has and continues to show its solidarity with Mozambique in its times of need.
With input from the Government of Mozambique, other donors, and local organizations, USAID’s five-year strategy that accompanies the bilateral assistance agreement focuses on three primary objectives: healthier and better educated Mozambicans; diversified and inclusive economic growth; and increased resilience of vulnerable populations to key shocks. To accomplish these objectives, USAID works with national, provincial and district level government offices, businesses, and civil society on programs in education, governance, health, biodiversity, agriculture, economic growth and water and sanitation. These strategic goals complement the priorities set forth in the Mozambican government’s 5-year national plan, the Plano Quinquenal do Governo (PQG).
In signing this agreement, the U.S. Government is showing its full commitment to achieving development goals in Mozambique together with the people and government of the Perola do Indico. We have done so throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, donating more than 4.5 million single-dose vaccines. And because of the long history of hard work between U.S. and Mozambican medical practitioners, Mozambique has been able to respond quickly and effectively to this virus, achieving some of the highest vaccination rates in sub-saharan Africa. Together, we have also reduced by nearly half the number of deaths from HIV/AIDS. We partnered with the Mozambican government to help Mozambican farmers improve their yields, help schoolchildren learn to read, and support park rangers to better protect Mozambique’s amazing natural resources. And together we have provided and delivered food, shelter, water, and sanitation services to Mozambicans displaced by cyclones and violent extremism.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in coming together today to sign this agreement, we are looking towards the future. We are formally renewing this development partnership and once again pledging to stand alongside Mozambique to find innovative solutions to current development challenges and capitalize on the potential of this country.
Today, $150 million will be immediately obligated to support Mozambique’s development programs in health, education, agriculture, biodiversity conservation, water and sanitation. This agreement also further solidifies a joint U.S. – Mozambique commitment to providing equitable, sustainable development results for every Mozambican.
Finally, I want to share some personal observations. I have now lived in Mozambique for almost three years. I have traveled from all around this beautiful country, and I have personally seen how USAID projects are implemented and how they benefit Mozambicans. I’ve spoken to doctors and community health workers providing life-saving assistance to mothers and children in the most remote areas of the country. I’ve visited teachers implementing innovative approaches to bilingual education in Mozambican classrooms. And I’ve met farmers and agribusiness women and men who are modernizing farming techniques for increased agriculture production and more nutritious crops. I truly believe that the country’s greatest asset is its people. The development challenges are big, but the Mozambican spirit of solidarity and perseverance is bigger. The United States is committed to helping Mozambicans build a healthier, safer, more prosperous country for all.
And together, our joint efforts will ensure progress. Thank you and estamos juntos.