Displacement problem in Mozambique worsened by upcoming cyclone season

Street vendors in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique Street vendors in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique Farah Nabil on Unsplash

4 February 2022

A recent spike in violence in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province has displaced thousands of people already affected by ongoing conflict

Cabo Delgado, a northern province of Mozambique, has since 2017 suffered violent attacks from Islamic State (IS) affiliated groups that have forced approximately 800,000 people to become internally displaced. Yet, Cabo Delgado is a place where the only constant is uncertainty and Mozambique is currently at risk from extreme weather events, with an incoming annual tropical storm cycle that leaves the population with not much time to recover between storms. The large number of people being uprooted in the country, either to flee the violence or to return home, is requiring a highly reactive humanitarian response to ensure that people receive even a minimum of health and humanitarian services during their escape, displacement and return.

Humanitarian aid is being concentrated where the situation is more stable at the city of Pemba, which is located in the south of the province. However, in large areas of the north, there are hardly any active aid organizations. In many areas of the coastal strip and the northeast of the province, the healthcare system has also been seriously affected by conflict.

In Cabo Delgado many displaced people have now gathered in small towns, such as Mitambo, Ancuabe and Nanjua, where Médecins Sans Frontières teams have been running mobile clinics as well as distributing food, shelter and hygiene kits to hundreds of families since the end of January. Nevertheless, such towns lack the basic infrastructure required to support such a large quantity of people and access to clean water, housing and healthcare have been especially affected. As rain and storms will only make the situation worse, even more humanitarian assistance will be required.


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Author: Dulce María Hernández Márquez; Editor: Maxime Grenier

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