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11/02/2020 Press release


The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), signed today a memorandum of understanding with Total in which both organizations agreed to invest $5 million each to promote improved community health outcomes, prevent child marriage, and encourage positive youth development in Cabo Delgado Province. The U.S. Government was represented by Ambassador Dennis W. Hearne, while Total was represented by Vice President and Mozambique Country Manager Ronan Bescond. The Governor of Cabo Delgado Province, Valige Tauabo, and the Mayor of Pemba, Florete Simba Motarrua, also participated in the event.

The partnership between USAID and the Total-led Mozambique LNG project will address many of the challenges faced by women and girls in Cabo Delgado Province. While the child marriage rate in Mozambique is already among the highest in the world, Cabo Delgado, at 61%, has the highest child marriage rate of any province for girls under 18 years of age. Marrying young and having children as adolescents endangers girls’ health and robs them of the opportunity to go to school. The long-term consequences can be devastating for women, for their families, and for the nation’s development. Recent climatic disasters have further complicated these longstanding problems.

During the event, Ambassador Hearne stressed the commitment made by the U.S. Government, Total, and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique to address these problems together, saying, "Cabo Delgado needs youth who are healthy, empowered and full of hope for the future." He also noted this partnership offers "an example of how the public and private sector can work together to tackle the difficult challenges facing the people of Cabo Delgado."

Ronan Bescond, Country Manager of Total in Mozambique stated, "We are pleased to establish this partnership with USAID, which will strengthen our actions to support community health in the Districts of Mocímboa da Praia and Palma. As a responsible employer, we consider health to be a priority. In all of our host countries, we are firmly committed to contributing to the health and well-being of our employees and their families and, by extension, local communities."

Bescond added: "Our global social responsibility program aims to contribute to the sustainable development of our host communities, especially youth. Education and youth inclusion are part of the four priority areas of intervention of the program. We believe that by joining our efforts with the Mozambican Government and USAID to develop community health, education and the creation of economic and social opportunities for young women and girls, we are working on youth inclusion and contributing to Mozambique’s sustainable development."

The support from USAID is part of the more than $500 million in annual assistance the U.S. Government provides to improve the quality of education and healthcare, promote economic prosperity, and support the overall development of Mozambique.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. For more information about USAIDs work to foster sustainable development and advance human dignity: