The humanitarian situation in northern Mozambique is primarily a protection crisis. Since October 2017, Cabo Delgado, the least developed province in Mozambique, has increasingly been targeted by the actions of non-State Armed Groups (NSAG), resulting in forced displacement and serious protection incidents against civilians. The actions, initially comprised to a restricted area of the province, have rapidly expanded its geographic scope, with the NSAG gaining effective control of part of the territory since August 2020. By the same token, attacks have become more sophisticated, with use of heavy weaponry and increased number of combatants. As a result, in 2020 alone there was an increase of more than 800% in the number of IDPs, when compared to the situation in the end of 2019.
Humanitarian actors work to respond to two different needs: (i) the immediate response to individuals that have recently arrived from areas of conflict and (ii) individuals that have been in areas of refuge for a longer period, requiring a different type of intervention.
On a Protection standpoint the challenges are many, with reports of serious human rights violations, particularly affecting women and children. Issues reported include serious gender-based violations against women and children, kidnapping, recruitment, forced marriage and torture. In areas of refuge, scarcity of resources and increased arrival of IDPs have resulted in frictions and stigmatization of groups. Lack of documentation and access to livelihoods are additional elements that further increase the vulnerability of individuals.