Mozambique: WFP Palais Briefing Note – a Deepening Humanitarian Crisis in Mozambique As Resources Shrink and Needs Increase

Geneva — This is a summary of what was said by Antonella d’Aprile, WFP Country Director in Mozambique to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

This week marks five years since Cyclone Idai struck, affecting more than 2 million people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. In fact, on March 12 in the night, Tropical Storm Filippo entered southern Mozambique, Inhassoro district in Inhambane province, with a very strong winds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. It exited back into the Mozambique channel on March 13th through Gaza province. So, considering that the region, and the provinces are already affected by El Nino phenomenon, water levels in some basins remained low.

The government preliminary data on the storm’s impact in Inhambane, Sofala, Gaza and Maputo provinces, indicate that more than 48,000 people have been affected and over 23,000 students and teachers are unable to attend classes. More than 10,000 houses have been partially or completely destroyed. There are more damages in key infrastructure like roads, power poles, health units and assessment continue to quantify the damages.

The climatic shocks come on top of already constrained WFP operations in the northern region because of conflict and insecurity. WFP and the UN are on standby to respond in support of the Government’s National Institute of Disaster Risk Management.

WFP can support more than 50,000 people with food rations covering 30-day food needs. WFP Mozambique and other UN agencies are already under significant pressure and constraints not only for resources, but also because we are handling multiple shocks.

The situation in Cabo Delgado remains of great concern. We have about 12 out of the 17 districts in Cabo Delgado, and also the neighbouring province of Nampula, which are impacted by a new wave of population displacement.

Between end of December and 3rd of March, there has been a new wave of violence by non-state armed groups attacks that have triggered 113,000 people fleeing and moving, in Cabo Delgado province, and unfortunately also crossing into the province of Nampula. This is the second largest population displacement since the beginning of the conflict in 2017.

Around 63% of the newly displaced people are children and 23% are women. WFP, UNICEF and the IOM, through the joint response plan, managed to assist 17,000 people in the southern part of Cabo Delgado and WFP is also responding by providing food assistance to 37,000 people who moved to Nampula province.