On November 23, the eighth Bilateral Consultation between Flanders and Mozambique took place in Brussels.
Mozambique has been one of the three partner countries of Flanders’ Development Cooperation since 2002. Since the inception of this cooperation, the focus has been on access to health. The fourth Country Strategy Paper, which outlines the cooperation between Flanders and Mozambique over the next five years, was launched earlier this year. The paper lists four main priorities:
1/ strengthening of the health system at national and provincial level;
2/ sexual and reproductive health and rights for all (SRHR);
3/ well trained healthcare workers and volunteers;
and 4/ health research for evidence-based policy making.
Human rights are a common thread running through the Flemish-Mozambican actions. At the same time, we pay particular attention to vulnerable groups in Mozambique, including adolescent girls, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities and/or HIV, and migrants and internally displaced persons.
During the Consultation, the partners gave an overview of the state of play of the previous programme and discussed guidelines for the upcoming years. An important role remains for Prosaúde, a specific instrument for financing the Mozambican health sector. There was also a plea for an approach to SRHR that, in addition to sexual and relational education and contraception, also includes pregnancy counseling and maternity care.
The Mozambican delegation thanked Flanders for its cooperation in donating vaccines to the country. There is also support for further cooperation between the Mozambican National Institute of Health and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM). In that context, the Mozambican delegation paid a visit to the ITM in Antwerp on 24 November.
Flanders and Mozambique are looking forward to celebrating twenty years of constructive cooperation in 2022.