In May 2005, the Government of Mozambique adopted a new Five-Year Development Plan for the period 2005-2009.
The main objectives of the plan are: (i) to reduce the levels of absolute poverty, which will be pursued through activities in the areas of education, health and rural development; (ii) rapid and sustainable economic growth, focusing attention on the creation of an economic environment that favours private sector activity; (iii) economic development of the country, with an initial focus on rural areas, and the reduction of regional imbalances; (iv) consolidation of peace, national unity, justice, democracy and national awareness, as indispensable conditions for the harmonious development of the country; (v) to combat corruption, crime and red tape; and (vi) to strengthen sovereignty and international cooperation.
The National Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA II), 2006-2009, is intended to operationalise the objectives of the Five-Year Plan. The PARPA II sets out the country’s medium term strategy to promote growth and reduce poverty, as defined through the three pillars of: 1) Governance; 2) Human Capital; and 3) Economic Development. The PARPA II was prepared by the Government of Mozambique involving civil society and development partners, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The UN family participated actively in the development of the PARPA II in order to ensure full integration of the UN planning and programming framework into the overall national development agenda. In an attempt to include the local perspective, hasten decentralisation and improve the monitoring systems of the PARPA II, special attention was paid to the provincial priorities of civil society arising from provincial Poverty Observatories. The PARPA II is operationalised through annual Economic and Social Plans and the annual State Budget.
Mozambique is Africa’s single biggest recipient of international development assistance. About 50 percent of annual government spending is financed from external assistance. The way this assistance is delivered has changed considerably, with a clear and concerted move towards increased harmonisation and alignment of donor activity centred on the PARPA process, together with an interrelated move towards more flexible aid modalities such as sector Common Funds and General Budget Support (GBS). Flexible modalities such as GBS and common funds now comprise around 40 per cent of gross aid commitments.
The move towards harmonisation, alignment and more flexible aid modalities to support the PARPA implementation has been led in Mozambique by the Programme Aid Partnership (PAP), a group of 19 bilateral and multilateral donors providing GBS to the State Budget. The Government and its partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2004, which sets out the principles, terms and operations for the Programme Aid Partnership (PAP). This is one of the largest joint programmes in Africa, both in terms of volume and the number of donors involved. The PAP is organised around a structure of 24 thematic groups, in which Government, donors, the UN and civil society participate to monitor progress against the PARPA II indicators, notably through a Joint Review process twice a year.