8th Bilateral Consulation between Flanders and Mozambique
On 23 November, the 8th Bilateral Consulation between Flanders and Mozambique took place at Errera House, the official seat of the Government of Flanders. 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 4th Country Strategy Paper (CSP IV), 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. Specific attention will be paid to vulnerable groups, including adolescent girls, sexual and gender minorities, persons 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. Both delegations expressed their mutual satisfaction that the implementation of the previous programme (2016-2020) was already far advanced, despite the disruptive role played by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. As regards the new programme, the significant role of ProSaude as financing instrument for the broader health sector in Mozambique on national, and also to a large extent provincial level, was confirmed. A plea was made for a holistic approach to SRHR which, in addition to sexual education, family planning and contraception, includes pregnancy and maternity healthcare, and the new division of labour for health service volunteers and the role of digitalisation in access to health was explored.
The Mozambican Delegation expressed their appreciation for the role played by Flanders in the donation of vaccines to the country. Both Flanders and Mozambique also voiced support for the continuation of the cooperation between the Mozambican National Health Institute (INS) and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp. In the framework of that cooperation, the Mozambican Delegation visited the ITM on 24 November, where they were received by the Director Dr. Marc-Alain Widdowson and given a tour of the institution.
Flanders and Mozambique look forward to celebrating 20 years of cooperation in 2022.