MOZAMBIQUE. Cabo Delgado: The United Nations, through its office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA), today announced that the situation in Northern Mozambique is getting worse.
“An estimated 1.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection in the three northern provinces of Mozambique—Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula—due to the armed conflict in Cabo Delgado. Nearly 670,000 people were internally displaced in Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula by the end of 2020, including almost 580,000 people uprooted from their homes in 2020 alone.
More than 570 violent incidents were registered from January to December 2020, according to ACLED, and the attacks—including killings, beheadings and kidnappings—expanded geographically and increased in intensity”, read a report by the UNOCHA.
In Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula, close to 950,000 people are facing severe hunger, according to the latest Integrated Phase Classification analysis, as the conflict and repeated displacements have destroyed livelihoods and disrupted markets.
Last week, the Red Cross had warned of an impending humanitarian crisis in this region of Mozambique, with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) president, Peter Maure, saying that Carbo Delgado was facing a battle of three fronts: environmental catastrophe, conflict, and disease.
Insecurity has also driven up the cost of basic commodities, in many parts of Cabo Delgado, especially in areas particularly affected by the conflict, including Palma, Macomia and Mocimboa da Praia districts. Communities in less restive areas of Cabo Delgado, as well as in the neighbouring provinces of Niassa and Nampula, have shown incredible solidarity and generosity with displaced people fleeing the crisis.
More than 90 percent of people who fled the conflict are staying with family and friends in host communities. However, the situation is putting immense strain on the already meager resources of host communities.
Cholera highest numbers
Cholera cases are increasing, especially amongst displaced people, and more than 4,916 cases and 55 deaths reported by 14 February 2021, with the highest number of cases recorded in Metuge District. Cholera surveillance and response has been disrupted by insecurity in Mocimboa da Praia and Macomia, and new cases are therefore unable to be identified and treated.
Access to clean water—which is critical to prevent transmission of water-borne diseases—has become increasingly challenging, with water systems strained due to lack of fuel in multiple locations.
Last month, Valentin Tapsoba, the director of UNHCR in southern had been quoted by the media as saying, “The situation in Cabo Delgado is dire, it’s a humanitarian crisis, the international community cannot let the situation continue like this”.
Meanwhile, insecurity in northern Mozambique has damaged or destroyed 36 percent of health facilities across Cabo Delgado Province and there are no functional clinics in Mocimboa da Praia, Macomia, Muidumbe, and Quissanga. This hampers the ability of health actors to provide critical care, such as sexual and reproductive health care, immunization activities, access to antiretrovirals for people living with HIV, and treatment for tuberculosis