A United Nations mission reported on Thursday (6 May) that Mozambique will need about 400 million dollars in aid over the next two years to compensate for sanctions against neighbouring Rhodesia.
GV EXT U.N. Building.
SCU Mr. Abdulrahim Abby Farah speaking.
FARAH: "It is the view of the mission that the government of Mozambique will face a heavy loss as a result of applying sanctions in accordance with its international obligations. In the past, instead of depending on exports to pay for imports, Mozambique during the colonial period relied on the foreign exchange earned by the ports and railways from transit traffic. The application of sanctions will reduce these earnings by 65 million dollars and another 25 to 30 million dollars will be lost with the ending of transit airline operations and remittances from Mozambique workers working in southern Rhodesia. Thirdly it must be noted that Mozambique exported a number of products to southern Rhodesia and imported from southern Rhodesia many of its necessities. Exports to other markets will bring less revenue and it will cost more to import the necessities from other countries. The mission estimates that the trade balance will settle by about 16 million dollars. Now the major difficulty in the period ahead, will be for Mozambique to meet its balance of payments deficit, which will amount to between 175 and 200 million dollars annually for the next two years, and to pay for the emergency projects. the existing administration in Mozambique is already overburdened without having to face the other difficulties arising from the application of sanctions".
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This film is serviced with part of the mission's report, presented by Mr. Farah. A transcript appears below:-
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A United Nations mission reported on Thursday (6 May) that Mozambique will need about 400 million dollars in aid over the next two years to compensate for sanctions against neighbouring Rhodesia.
The mission - headed by UN Assistant Secretary-General, Abdulrahim Abby Farah - recently visited Mozambique to help assess its economic needs after the decision to implement sanctions against the Rhodesian white minority government.
At the time of independence from Portugal in June 1975, Mozambique's economy depended heavily upon transit traffic to Rhodesia and South Africa. The report stated that with the closing of its border with Rhodesia, there will be a balance of payments deficit. Over the next two years this will be between 175 million and 200 million US dollars (between GBP 97 million and GBP 111 million sterling) annually.
The UN report states that while the Mozambique government hopes to encourage a high level of development to help offset the effects of applying sanctions, it will take some time before these efforts bear fruit.
Some countries have expressed the desire to channel aid to Mozambique through a United Nations programme and the mission suggested that UN Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim, should set up a special fund for that purpose.
UN trade sanctions were first imposed against Rhodesia in December 1965, shortly after the Ian Smith government unilaterally declared independence from Britain. However, the restrictions were not enforced by Mozambique while it remained a Portuguese colony.