The humanitarian situation in Mozambique is critical, particularly in Cabo Delgado where nearly 856,0002 people, including 414,2723 children, have been displaced and are in need of humanitarian assistance. In addition, 363,0004 people in the province are at risk of food insecurity (IPC crisis level 3 or above) and COVID-19 continues to deepen vulnerabilities of affected population, particularly in health, education and nutrition.
UNICEF will provide multi-sector, life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations including children, women and people with disabilities. The response includes capacity building, system strengthening, reinforcement of community-based structures and provision of key supplies in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Zambezia and Manica provinces.
UNICEF will also strengthen its work in reporting, monitoring and responding to grave violations against children.
UNICEF is requesting US$98.8 million to reach 1.2 million people addressing the needs of the women, children and to prepare for the high risk of climatic events in the country.
KEY PLANNED TARGETS
283,160 children receiving vitamin A supplementation
700,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
209,000 children/caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support
262,740 children accessing educational services
545,100 children in need of nutrition assistance
596,000 children in need of immunization services
950,000 people lack access to safe water
440,200 children in need of MHPSS services
522,000 children in need of access to school
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
The humanitarian situation in Mozambique is worrisome, requiring a flexible approach to address the most immediate needs of children and communities, while engaging in mid- to long-term peacebuilding and development strategies. The country has faced cyclones, conflict and COVID-19 in the last two years, affecting hundreds of thousands of children and caregivers. UNICEF estimates that 46 per cent of children are multidimensionally poor, which exacerbates existing vulnerabilities, including gender and inclusion.
The ongoing conflict deteriorated significantly in 2021, resulting in the massive displacement of over 856,000 people (48 per cent children). About 83 per cent of internally displaced people (IDPs) live in host communities and 17 per cent live in IDP camps or resettlement sites. The situation in Cabo Delgado is a protection crisis, with children and women continuously exposed to grave violations including killings, abductions, recruitment by armed groups and gender-based violence. Family separation and mental health are also of concern. Protective learning environments require support with over 500,000 children and 2,000 teachers needing learning spaces and materials.
Conflict and other shocks have led to increased food insecurity, with more than 866,000 people likely to need assistance through June 2022. The July 2021 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Acute Malnutrition analysis revealed that nearly 75,000 children aged 6 to 59 months are threatened by acute malnutrition, with nearly 27,400 at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2022. Health reports reveal coverage of SAM services below 30 per cent due to limited health facility access and availability, and shortages of therapeutic products. The nutrition situation is likely to deteriorate if urgent prevention and response measures are not quickly implemented.
The country has also been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with infection rates doubling in 2021 and hospitalizations increasing five times. In 2020, school closures due to COVID-19 affected 8.5 million children/youth. In 2021, closures affected 14 per cent of primary and 37 per cent of secondary school students. Mozambique also suffers from communicable disease outbreaks, including cholera, requiring a coordinated, multi-sector response.
Mozambique is 9th out of 191 countries on the INFORM Index due to conflict and climate change. As climatic shocks occur with more frequency and severity, preparing and responding to shocks is critical. The climatic risks, combined with the conflict in the north, have dramatically increased the needs of children and their families.