With the first COVID-19 case reported on 22 March, Mozambique has 816 confirmed cases in all the 11 provinces of the country as of 26 June.
A total of 7.9 million people is estimated to be in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in 2020 due to multiple shocks affecting the country.
A cholera outbreak has been reported in Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces, with over 1,000 cases and 17 deaths recorded to date
The humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado has significantly deteriorated over the last six months due to insecurity and violence. About 211,500 people are internally displaced.
The COVID-19 Flash Appeal and the Cabo Delgado Rapid Response Plan request for $103M to provide life-saving, life-supporting assistance and protection to the most vulnerable.
COVID-19 outbreak compounding existing needs
The first case of COVID-19 was declared in Mozambique on 22 March 2020. Three months later, as of 26 June, the country had 816 confirmed cases and 5 deaths. The outbreak has now reached all the 11 provinces of the country, with Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Maputo being the hardest-hit. Mozambique's President, Filipe Nyusi, declared a State of Emergency on 1 April (recently extended until 30 June) and announced a number of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 arrived in Mozambique at a time when humanitarian needs were already rising due to consecutive climatic shocks in multiple parts of the country and growing violence and insecurity in Cabo Delgado. A year on from Cyclone Idai and Kenneth, over 100,000 displaced people are still living in 76 temporary sites across six provinces in the central and norther regions of the country. People living in confinement, camps or camp like settings, IDPs in resettlement sites or within host communities, with limited access to services, are currently at heightened risk as their right to information, access to healthcare, hygiene, protection services and livelihoods are constrained.
Moreover, COVID-19 is currently escalating an already alarming food security situation and exhausting families' coping capacities. Households are likely to exhaust what little savings they had and resort to negative coping mechanisms, including increasing child marriage and transactional sex. Following the country-wide closure of schools on 23 March, 235,000 children are no longer accessing critical school feeding programmes and malnutrition is expected to worsen in the period ahead.
Prior to COVID-19, multiple disease outbreaks---including cholera and malaria---were already stretching Mozambique's weak health systems and 94 health centres were damaged during the cyclones. Critical services---such as sexual and reproductive health care, immunization activities and continuity of care for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and cholera---are expected to be disrupted as resources shift to the COVID-19 response, potentially increasing maternal and infant deaths. Access to clean water and appropriate sanitation is a major challenge in the country, where 80 per cent of urban dwellers live in informal settlements.
COVID-19 and its secondary consequences are also increasing protection concerns, particularly for women and children. At the same time, across the country, as stressors rise, the risk of intimate partner and gender-based violence (GBV) is increasing. Those with limited mobility, particularly the elderly and disabled, already at increased risk from COVID-19 and may face further barriers to access life-saving services due to movement restrictions.
In response to the arising humanitarian needs, on 4 June 2020, the Humanitarian Country Team, in collaboration with the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), launched a Flash Appeal for COVID-19 aimed at providing urgent life-saving and life-supporting assistance to 2.96 million people until December 2020. The appeal supports the Government-led response to COVID-19, addressing both the immediate public health crisis and the secondary impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable Mozambicans. Out of Us$68 million appeal, $16 million are destined for the health sector, and $52 million for non-health sectors, especially food security & livelihoods and water, sanitation and hygiene. The COVID-19 Flash Appeal reflects an in-depth elaboration of the requirements for Mozambique that are outlined in the Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19.