In August, conflict and fear of violence in Cabo Delgado continued to force people to flee. Confrontations between non-state armed groups and security forces—particularly in Palma, Nangade, and Mocimboa da Praia districts—forced thousands of people to move throughout the province in the first half of the month. A peak of over 6,000 people were displaced each week during operations by Mozambican and foreign forces to recapture Mocimboa da Praia in the first three weeks of August. There were also unverified reports of some displaced people returning to their places of origin in the second half of the month.
According to IOM’s Emergency Tracking Tool, most people who moved in August were previously displaced by the conflict, with close to 50 per cent being children and 30 per cent women.
Humanitarian actors continued to expand their response in August, but some sectors faced significant challenges due to under-funding. More than 1.16 million people in northern Mozambique were assisted from January to August 2021, including around 861,000 people who received food assistance. However, in August, most food distributions were halted due to a pipeline break, and only around 49,900 people received food assistance. Some 527,000 people were assisted to access health services from January to August, with the number of women receiving modern contraceptives increasing to more than 63,300 by the end of August. The number of people assisted with access to adequate sanitation facilities and clean water and emergency shelter and/or non-food items increased significantly from July to August, up from 204,800 to 244,000, and 211,300 to 340,00 respectively. Nearly 170,000 people were reached with gender-based violence prevention activities by the end of August. Due to insecurity, however, there were no inter-agency missions during the month.
In several districts, humanitarians have reached more people than initially planned for 2021, due to a rise in internally displaced people arriving into these locations, especially from Palma, as well as growing needs among host communities. This is particularly evident in Mueda, where humanitarian partners have reached nearly three times the number of people initially targeted, Metuge (148 per cent of people targeted reached), Pemba (139 per cent), and Montepuez (126 per cent). In two other districts—Namuno (384 per cent of people targeted reached) and Balama (204 per cent)—the number of people reached was above the target due to an increase in coverage of the measles vaccination campaign. In Meluco (222 per cent), Mecufi (141 per cent) and Ancuabe (133 per cent), the initial target was exceeded due to an increase in food assistance. At the same time, humanitarian partners have reached fewer people than initially targeted in districts that have seen significant outflows of people forced to flee due to conflict in 2021, especially in Mocimboa da Praia,
Macomia, Muidumbe, Quissanga, Nangade and Palma.
Only 38 per cent—US$ 95.3 million—of the requested funding had been received for humanitarian action in the northern provinces by the end of August. Despite an increase in funding recorded from June ($38.5 million) and July ($86.3 million), the gap in funding was still $158.7 million in August, and humanitarian organizations reported that they did not have sufficient resources to respond, causing a gap in life-saving operations, especially food assistance.