Malnutrition in Mozambique
In 2015, the country reached its Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of hungry people. Chronic food insecurity now sits at 24 percent (down from 61 percent in 1997) and malnutrition at 25 percent (down from 56 percent in the early 1990s).
Despite these impressive achievements, significant challenges to food and nutrition security remain. The vast majority – 80 percent – of the population cannot afford the minimum costs for an adequate diet, and the situation is made worse by inflation and a rise in food prices, which in October 2016 recorded a five-year high. Coupled with other factors – such as high rates of infectious diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and poor access to health services, water and sanitation – poorly diversified diets lie at the roots of persistently high malnutrition, which affects almost half of children under 5. Stunting, or low height for age, affects 42.3 percent of children in the same age group, with higher prevalence in rural areas.
Like malnutrition, food insecurity also varies considerably across regions as shocks affect different locations to different degrees.