• More than 9,150 people have arrived from Palma into Nangade, Mueda, Montepuez and Pemba districts since 24 March, and thousands more are thought to be displaced inside Palma district.
• In the provincial capital, Pemba, a reception centre has been set-up at the port and a transit centre has been established at the Sports Centre.
• Humanitarians are providing life-saving assistance to those fleeing the violence, including helping to identify the most vulnerable at arrival points and ensuring that they receive dedicated assistance, delivering rapid response food kits, setting up WASH facilities and ensuring rapid referrals of people in need of urgent medical attention.
One week since the attack on Palma began in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado on 24 March, the security situation reportedly remains volatile and thousands of people are on the move in search of safety and assistance.
At least 9,158 people—45 per cent of whom are children—have arrived in Nangade, Mueda, Montepuez and Pemba districts, according to the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) latest update. Some 220 older people are among those who have been registered. At least 67 per cent of the new arrivals are staying with host families, who have generously opened their homes to those fleeing the violence.
Thousands more people are reportedly on the move through the forest in search of safety and are expected to arrive at different locations in the days ahead. There are also an unconfirmed number of people sheltering at the Quitunda settlement adjacent to Afungi, some 15 kilometres south of Palma Town.
The new wave of displacement has uprooted many people who had fled their places of origin due to the conflict in other parts of Cabo Delgado and had been seeking shelter in Palma. Before this latest Palma attack, nearly 670,000—including an estimated 160,000 women and adolescent girls of reproductive age and 19,000 pregnant women—were internally displaced in Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula, the vast majority of them living with host families, whose scarce resources are being exhausted.
The increase in violence in Cabo Delgado has severely impacted health facilities, leaving an estimated 950 displaced pregnant women at risk over the next three months without access to safe delivery and lifesaving emergency obstetric care services, according to UNFPA. UNFPA is deeply concerned that thousands of displaced women may require care in response to sexual and gender-based violence.
Humanitarian organizations are assisting displaced people and scaling up the ongoing humanitarian response in Cabo Delgado, in close coordination with the Government.
The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), operated by the World Food Programme (WFP), and other organizations continue to support the evacuation efforts. On 31 March, UNHAS evacuated 45 people, bringing the total evacuated to safer locations by UNHAS to more than 380. On 1 April, a boat carrying around 1,300 people docked in Pemba, and humanitarian organizations—including IOM, UNHCR, ICRC and the Mozambican Red Cross (CVM)—were on site to assist those arriving.
The Government has established a transit centre at the Sports Centre complex. Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) partners are supporting the Government’s National Institute for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction (INGD) with the set-up of the site. On 1 April, there were over 170 people at the Sports Centre, and humanitarian partners were providing multi-sectoral services, including protection (including family reunification), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and distribution of emergency food, hygiene kits and critical items (including sleeping mats). Families leave the site once they have found relatives or friends to stay with. CCCM partners have provided fuel to authorities to facilitate the transport of displaced people from points of arrivals to the transit centre and drop off points throughout Pemba.
Education partners are planning to redistribute available school and learning kits, according to the number of new arrivals in some districts.
Food Security Cluster partners are distributing rapid response food kits at the arrival locations. On 31 March, WFP dispatched immediate response rations (IRR), including rice, pulses, vegetable oil, canned foods—such as sardines and beans—and biscuits to assist at least 400 of the 1,300 people fleeing Palma who arrived in Pemba by boat on 1 April.
The Health Cluster continues to assist in the transfer of injured and ill people from the arrival points to clinics and hospitals. MSF supported the transport of medical equipment and medicines from Mueda to Nangade.
Nutrition Cluster partners are organizing teams to undertake nutritional screening and referral, both for the reception areas at Pemba’s port and the new transit centre.
Protection Cluster partners are screening new arrivals to identify the most vulnerable people and supporting authorities with protection referrals. UNHCR has installed 10 tents at Pemba’s port to support protection screening. The Protection Cluster continues to work to assist family tracing and reunification, including for unaccompanied children, as well as to provide psychological first aid to displaced people, with support of IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, Save the Children and other partners. UNHCR and partners are also providing blankets and mattresses at temporary centres and at the airport. Child Protection partners, in collaboration with social welfare authorities, are identifying vulnerable children and mothers and referring them for support with local organizations and institutions. UNICEF and AVSI have assisted these organizations to provide psychosocial support for affected children and mothers. UNFPA and partners working on gender-based violence have prepared hundreds of dignity kits for distribution to women and girls fleeing the violence, including items such as soap, a whistle, a flashlight, sanitary pads and reusable underwear.
The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster, through UNICEF and Ayuda en Acción—in close coordination with the Government’s Fundo de Investimento e Património do Abastecimento de Água (FIPAG)—is building latrines and handwashing facilities at the Sports Centre transit site in Pemba. One water tank and a water bladder are being set up.