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Rehabilitation involves re-establishing livelihood security among the poorest households in order to reduce vulnerability to future disasters, re-start the local economy in a sustainable fashion, and avoid dependency. This article discusses experiences of post-war rehabilitation in Mozambique and suggests that, although many households rapidly re-started crop production, they remain vulnerable because they have not been able to rebuild reserves. The author cautions against over-rapid withdrawal from relief programmes, and suggests that distributing cash and allowing households to buy what they need most is sometimes more appropriate than distributing food, seeds, tools, and selected household goods.

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