Engendering the Fiscal Stimulus Package In Mozambique
Training of Government Planners and Gender Focal Points on COVID-19 Tool for assessing Fiscal Stimulus Package
5 July 2022 - UN Women Mozambique, with the support from the Korean International Development Agency (KOICA), organized a training for relevant government planners and gender focal points across sectors. The overall objective of the training was to build the capacity of planners on the utilization of the tool on "How to Assess and Engender the Fiscal Stimulus Packages to Respond to the Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19". The seminar also mobilized key actors in the governance of the economic and fiscal stimulus packages to engender the policies and initiatives towards an inclusive mitigation and recovery from COVID-19 in Mozambique.
Addressing participants, Marie Laetitia Kayisire, UN Women Country Representative, said:
“We must use this crisis as an opportunity to direct our attention and resources toward empowering women and girls and removing the historical barriers to their progress, so that we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger, balanced, resilient, and caring society.”
As a result of a consultative process with UN Women, the National Investment Bank (BNI) announced the upcoming launch of the Women Fund, a credit line that emerges from previous challenges and lessons learned from the COVID-19 stimulus response. The fund aims to finance projects for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), that either have women as main promoters or are involved in the production of goods or services for which the final consumer is women.
Thirty government planners and gender focal points, of whom were 22 women, from the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Action; Health; Industry and Commerce; Agriculture and Rural Development; Land and Environment; the State Secretariat of Youth and Employment; the National Institute of Employment; the National Institute of Social Action; the National Institute of Statistics; and the National Investment Bank attended the seminar.
Key Facts on the current situation in Mozambique: The Mozambican Government (including the Central Bank) has announced a package of economic and fiscal stimulus for the private sector. The Central Bank has implemented measures to stabilize the financial sector in the country by reducing the mandatory reserve rate, introducing foreign currency financing for commercial banks, a waiver of constitutions of additional provisions of debts for commercial banks, and reducing the costs of digital transactions (mobile banking and e-currency fees). The National Investment Bank (BNI) is the entity entitled for the management of this package. Initial assessment suggests that the stimulus package is largely living behind many micro, small and medium sized enterprises – where most women are engaged in. Women in the informal sector are among the most affected. Mozambique's government, with support from the World Bank, Sweden and UK, has developed a National Plan to Respond to COVID-19 on social protection floor. Women and girls’ victims or at risk of violence are yet to be considered as target group despite strong evidence of heightened vulnerability. Expansion of the basic social protection system, prioritizing the populations most vulnerable to the crisis. The National Institute for Social Action implemented the reinforcement of already existing social protection programs (PSSB, PASP, and PASD) as well as the creation of a new social security program specific to the COVID-19 pandemic (PASD-PE COVID-19). Higher health related spending on goods and services and tax exemptions to support additional needs for the health essential workers caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the remote Emergency National Helplines to provide alternative support, assistance and direction to the survivors of gender-based violence. UN Women in partnership with the African Development Bank, has recently supported the Ministry of Gender and Social Action (MGCAS) in the design of the National Programme on Women’s Empowerment (PROMULHER). Fiscal and Economic Stimulus are well aligned with the need to create an enabling environment for women owned businesses (WOB).