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COVID-19: Exceptions granted to foreign humanitarian aid technicians entering Mozambique

Presidential Decree No 11/2020 (30 March 2020), which enacts the State of Emergency (ratified by Law No. 1/2020)1, has limited the entry and exit of people in Mozambique, through: a) the suspension of issuance of entry visas; b) the cancellation of visas already issued; c) the suspension of visa suppression agreements; and d) the partial closure of its borders.

However the decree has exempted from the restrictions above matters of state interest, including humanitarian aid, health and cargo transport. In this respect, it is important to note that NGOs play an important role in emergency, rehabilitation or development projects in Mozambique.2

Thus, within the crucial role that non-government organizations (NGOs) play in the country and given the exemptions established above, and while the State of Emergency is in force, the conditions, at least materially, are created for a) the entry of hospital equipment; and b) the entry of NGO foreign health technicians provided that they comply with the mandatory quarantine.

In relation to formal requirements, article 4 of the Presidential Decree No. 11/2023 states that the competent government authorities shall ensure that the provisions of the decree are complied with and that they may resort to the specialized collaboration of public entities that they deem necessary, depending on the nature of the tasks to be performed, in order to implement the Presidential Decree.

In this regard, it will be the duty of the competent government authorities to guarantee the entry of foreign health technicians who intend to enter Mozambique, being necessary, in this regard, the coordination between the following entities:

  1. The Ministry of Health;
  2. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation;
  3. SENAMI (Serviço Nacional de Migração); and
  4. The Secretary of State for Youth and Employment.

Therefore, NGOs that intend to provide support in the health sector by sending foreign technicians to Mozambique to help combat COVID-19, have the legal conditions created for this and should be guided by the above mentioned entities as to the procedures to be taken. However, as there are already foreign technicians in Mozambique working for NGOs, they can also offer support in these instances, since another measure created to combat the pandemic is the civil requisition of doctors, nurses and other health personnel outside the National Health System.

Note: This article is only valid for the duration of the State of Emergency and related restrictive measures.


1Law no. 4/2020 of 30 April, which ratifies Presidential Decree no. 12/2020 of 29 April, extends the State of Emergency until 30 May 2020.
2Article 1 (1) of Decree no. 55/98 of 13 October, which creates the legal framework that defines the criteria for authorization, objectives to be achieved and mechanisms for action by Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations.
3Please see footnote 1.