Does your family have enough money to buy food and clothes? What kind of a toilet do you have in your dwelling? How many family members have a mobile phone? These were some of the questions in the household budget survey carried out by the National Institute of Statistics in Mozambique in 2014–2015. The survey is repeated every six years, and it covers issues concerning household income, living conditions and decision-making in the family. A research programme, supported by Finland, Norway and Denmark, used the survey results to draw up a national poverty assessment which gives vital information for public debate and policy making.
The poverty assessment indicates that the proportion of the Mozambicans living in extreme poverty has decreased significantly in the past 25 years. In 1992 in the aftermath of the civil war, 80 per cent of the population lived in extreme poverty, compared to 46 per cent in 2017. At the same time there is growing inequality between the northern, central and southern parts of the county and between urban and rural areas. So far, economic growth has benefitted mainly people in urban areas and in the south. Economic growth will continue strong, thanks to the vast natural resources in Mozambique. Research results will help the Government to plan economic and social policies and investments that lay the ground for sustainable growth and benefit the whole population. The poverty assessment is part of a larger project to development research capabilities in Mozambique. It is also supported by the UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), located in Helsinki.
Photo: Liisa Takala, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta