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Press release – December 9 – The Ministry for European Affairs and International Cooperation of the Netherlands has signed a Grant Arrangement with the Ministry of Health of Mozambique for the development phase of the building of two referral hospitals in Beira and Marromeu under the ORIO Facility for Infrastructure Development. ORIO provides funding for infrastructure projects with development relevancy in developing countries.

The development phase, fully funded by the Grant Arrangement for both hospitals, will be conducted in collaboration with PharmAccess Foundation (PharmAccess). PharmAccess is a Dutch non-for-profit organization dedicated to the strengthening of health systems and to expanding access to quality basic health care in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is in line with the main objective of the Development Cooperation between the two countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and more specifically to reduce child mortality, achieve universal access to reproductive health and combat HIV/AIDS by 2015.

Despite important progress in recent years, access to healthcare services in Mozambique remains limited and results from insufficient supply. This is due to a combined lack of infrastructure (largely destroyed during the 12-year civil war) and human resources for health.  This is aggravated by an increasing demand due to the high disease burdens. HIV/AIDS poses one of the most significant threats to the development as Mozambique has among the highest HIV prevalence rates around the world. As a consequence, strengthening the health system is a clear priority for Mozambique, particularly in regard to the health workforce and service delivery.

In line with its Government Plan and Health Sector priorities, Mozambique proposes to build two referral hospitals in the Sofala Province with the support of the ORIO grant facility. The Sofala province, with its 1.3 million inhabitants, has been identified as the priority location for the project as a large number of poor in this province currently lack access to healthcare. The Government plans to locate a new facility in Beira city- a fast growing agglomeration with deprived slums- and one in Marromeu – a growing town in a rural area built around a sugar cane company. These two facilities will serve an estimated 600.000 people, mainly poor.

The Netherlands, Mozambique and PharmAccess are pleased to collaborate in this important project that will contribute to the expansion and improvement of healthcare in both rural and urban areas. The project will in turn contribute to respond to HIV/AIDS and to gaps in maternal care.

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About the Facility for Infrastructure Development ORIO
ORIO, a grant facility financed by the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, contributes to the development and implementation (construction and/or expansion), operations and maintenance of public infrastructure projects in developing countries. Reliable infrastructure is of vital importance for a country’s economic growth which, in its turn, reduces poverty and helps attain the Millennium Development Goals.

ORIO is a facility for infrastructure development. Prime focus goes to what the applicant country requests. That is why the respective government submits the application, although the initial stimulus can come from a private company.

Selection is made on the basis of competition. NL EVD International, a department of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs working on behalf of the Minister for Development Cooperation, assesses the applications on their demand-driven character and relevance to the applying country’s development. Criteria include the degree to which the project contributes to economic growth, private sector development and the degree to which the poorer segments of the population profit from the social benefits that arise from the project.

The scope of the project budget must be between EUR 2 million and EUR 60 million. The grant percentage for the development phase is 100 percent of the project budget for the least developed countries and for heavily indebted poor countries and 50 percent for other countries. The grant percentage for the implementation, operations and maintenance phases is 50 percent of the project budget for the least developed countries and 35 percent for other countries. The recipient government will finance the remaining sum.

For more information about ORIO, please visit www.agentschapnl.nl