Mozambique is a country in southeast Africa twice the size of California with a population of 20 million.
Mozambique is a country that has been plagued by a history of war and injustice. Going back only to the 1960's Mozambique suffered through its 11-year war for independence from the rule of Portugal. After gaining independence in 1975 a Marxist government prevailed. This led to a bloody civil war resulting in the killing of up to one million people. This brutal war continued until 1992 when a cease-fire was officially established with the help of the United Nations. At that time Mozambique was among the poorest countries in the world. During that civil war, massive atrocities were perpetrated on civilians. Soldiers from both sides plundered villages - killing, raping and kidnapping children and young men for their armies. Most people did not even know which side they were being attacked by. Friends, neighbors and family members were separated and forced to fight on different sides in the war. The situation was compounded by droughts and floods which resulted in widespread famine in the 80's. Within three years after the cease-fire over 1.7 million refugees who had sought asylum in surrounding countries had returned to Mozambique. Also 4 million internally displaced people returned to their homes. All of these circumstances left Mozambique floundering with problems in every area of life resulting in at least 1.6 million orphans.
Mozambique has more than its share of problems:
Mozambique is struggling to rebuild and move forward. But the issues it faces are staggering. In the meantime, the incidence of children being orphaned will escalate before it improves.
Learn more about Mozambique.
Click on the map above to see a larger version of it. Source: United Nations Cartographic Section.