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The Hungriest Places on Earth: Amina's Story

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Education Girls' Rights

In Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, conflict and drought are causing devastating levels of hunger. When families are hungry, children go to class hungry, or are forced to miss or drop out of school, shattering girls’ dreams.  

Hunger in Mozambique

  • 80% of people cannot afford an adequate diet
  • 42.3% of children under five are stunted

Amina’s Story

The food crisis in Cabo Delgado means that Amina, who is in grade 3, frequently goes to school hungry. She and her family, originally from Macomia district, have lived in a resettlement centre since February 2021, but have been unable to register for food rations. Their main source of food is the family who live next door to them, who share rice and other food with them.

The number of meals that 11-year-old Amina and her younger sister, who is in grade 1, can have in a typical day depends on how much their neighbours are able to spare. “I eat two times a day when we have food,” she explains.

“Sometimes my sister and I do not eat. Sometimes my mother does not eat,” she says.

Describing a typical day, she says: “When I wake up I get dressed to school and I walk to school with my sister. After school I clean the house and cook because usually my mother has to go to the hospital.”

Amina enjoys her studies: “I like to answer questions. I am also a good writer,” she continues.

Her father, Anli Saide, explains: “The land [here] is very dry, even the people who were allocated land for farming are struggling because there is no rain and the soil is not good for growing crops. The situation is really bad.

“We came here with another family. They are in the list so when they get food, they share it with us. But the food is very little. The children eat just enough to survive.”