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UNICEF Mozambique Humanitarian Situation Report No. 1 (Cabo Delgado): May-October 2020

Date de publication


  • The conflict in Cabo Delgado has been deteriorating with over 355,000 people displaced, of which nearly half are children, and most of them living in host families;

  • In October, at least 219 boats carrying 11,280 people which about half are children arrived in Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado coming northern districts of Cabo Delgado;

  • UNICEF supported a total of 59,553 caregivers to receive messages including IYCF counselling in the communities and 50,741 children supplemented with vitamin A;

  • UNICEF’s support on delivery of health service to the population in need enabled the vaccination of 37,992 children against measles; two rounds of cholera vaccination campaigns were held, benefiting 300,000 people of which majority were IDPs.

  • 24,820 people have been reached with household water treatment chemical distributions and safe use instructions

712,000 people in need (OCHA 2020)

> 355,000 Internally displaced people (IDPs)

2,193 Reported fatalities (ACCLED, October 20)

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF appeals for US$ 11.1M to sustain provision of life-saving services for women and children in northern Mozambique affected by the ongoing conflict. As of 30 October 2020, Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), ECHO, USAID and Thematic allocation from EMOPS have generously contributed a total of US$ 5.8 million to UNICEF Mozambique humanitarian response in Cabo Delgado. However, the 2020 HAC still has a funding gap of 47% and without sufficient funding over 100,000 people will not have access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and over 20,000 children will not have access to screening for acute malnutrition and supplementation with vitamin A.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Since 2017, Mozambique particulary Cabo Delgado province which is located in the northernmost part of the country has been facing a humanitarian crisis caused by an ongoing conflict perpetrated by Non State Armed Groups (NSAGs). The situation evolved and deteriorated significantly in 2020 with increased number of attacks and internal displaced people(IDPs). According to ACLED, since October 2017 there were 6611 violence events organized and 2,1932 reported fatalities from these events. Furthermore, there have been recurrent and informal allegations of serious human rights abuses including attacks on population; killings and maiming; widespread destruction and burning of property including public services; looting and (forced) displacement; abductions, sexual and gender-base violence , as well as a number of child rights violations – 175 separated and 1,626 unaccompanied children (reported by IOM).Moreover, as consequence of these attacks and destruction of key infrastructure (health facilities, water supply systems), provision of basic services such as health and nutrition services as well as safe water provision is disrupted in some districts. As of October 2020, the displacement resulted from insecurity in Cabo Delgado reached over 355,0003 people (of which nearly half are children ) distributed among three provinces namely Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa province. Majority of the IDPs (>80%) are located in all 17 districts of Cabo Delgado, mainly southern districts due to safety and security as well as access to humanitarian assistance and living in host families. Urgent needs for the IDPs includes shelter, food assitance, NFI water, health, Child protection and education services (school materials and integration of displaced children).

From 16 to 29 October, at least 219 boats carrying 11,2804 people which nearly half of the displaced people are children arrived in Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado coming mainly from Macomia, Quissanga, Ibo (Matemo Island) and Metuge districts. More than 3,500 women, at least 19 of them pregnant, over 100 elderly, around 180 people in need of immediate medical assistance and at least 10 people living with disabilities were among the IDPs that have arrived into Pemba.Government and humanitarian partners are providing assistance to the population displaced through basic service provision (protection, WASH, health) in transit and reallocation sites, distribution of supplies and community engagement.

The assistance to the affected population has been challenging in the northern region of Cabo Delgado given the insecurity situation which reduced the access to people affected. According to OCHA, several attacks reported over the last few months on district capitals (Mocimboa da Praia, Quissanga, Muidumbe and Macomia districts) have forced many humanitarian actors to temporarily relocate from vital hub locations to the southern districts of Cabo Delgado, reducing their ability to assess and respond to the rising needs. The access constraint will be further exacerbated with the likely deterioration of road conditions with the approach of rainy season in November/December 2020.

Cabo Delgado is also affected by COVID-19 by 11 November, there were 926 cumulative cases (169 active) and two deaths were reported by health authorities. According to FEWSNET, food insecurity crisis outcome (IPC phase 3) is prevalent in about nine5 districts of Cabo Delgado and most of them in hard to reach areas in northern region.