Humanitarian Action for Children 2021 - Mozambique

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  • The humanitarian situation in Mozambique has deteriorated with the intensification of conflict in Cabo Delgado province. Some 425,000 people are displaced, and basic services have been severely disrupted.1 Over 135,000 people are food insecure and nearly 28,000 children are acutely malnourished.2 Conflict-related violence has intensified in Cabo Delgado, with reports of killings, maimings, abductions and sexual violence against civilians, including children. The rapidly evolving conflict dynamics call for robust approaches to secure humanitarian access, as it is becoming challenging to reach affected populations in some districts.

  • UNICEF will provide immediate and multi-sector life-saving assistance to internally displaced persons, host families and affected populations, including by providing critical supplies; strengthening health, nutrition, education, child protection and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services; supporting awareness raising, behaviour change and capacity building; and prioritizing the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.

  • UNICEF is requesting US$52.8 million to meet the humanitarian needs of affected children, women and adolescents in Mozambique, contain the spread of COVID-19 and respond to food and nutrition insecurity and flooding in 2021.


In Mozambique, nearly half of the population (48 per cent) is living below the poverty line;7 nearly half of Mozambicans (49 per cent) lack access to safe water; and more than three quarters are not using improved sanitation facilities.8 In addition, 43 per cent of children under 5 years are severely or moderately stunted and the country is facing a severe shortage of health workers (4.5 workers per 10,000 people).9 On top of these existing vulnerabilities, Mozambique is also facing complex humanitarian challenges. COVID-19 has spread throughout the country, with over 14,000 cases reported as of November, and 8 of 11 provinces at high risk.10 The number of COVID-19 cases is expected to reach 800,000 by June 2021.11 The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on education, with school closures affecting 8.5 million students.

Mozambique is also facing recurring cholera outbreaks, with nearly 3,300 cases and 31 deaths reported in 2020.12 Measles and rubella outbreaks have also been reported, with over 1,100 suspected cases nationwide13 and new cases reported in Cabo Delgado. In addition, over 135,000 people are food insecure and need assistance, and nearly 28,000 children aged 6 to 59 months are acutely malnourished and require treatment.14 The conflict in Cabo Delgado has displaced 425,000 people, including 191,000 children, the majority of whom are living in host communities.15 Basic services have been severely disrupted, with 138 schools and nearly 62,000 students affected;16 175,800 people impacted by non-operational water systems;17 and 25 per cent of health facilities not functioning.18

Security incidents reported in central Mozambique have displaced over 5,500 people.19 Affected populations are in urgent need of shelter, food, protection and access to health care and safe drinking water, and the COVID-19-related economic slowdown has exacerbated these needs.

Child rights violations continue in Mozambique, with reports of killings, abductions and abuse of girls and women. Gender-based violence cases also continue to rise. Access to services remains limited, particularly for persons with disabilities who lack accessible facilities, services and assistive devices. Appropriate case management, violence prevention and response services and psychosocial support are badly needed.