Mozambique: Cabo Delgado - Access Snapshot, February 2021

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In February 2021, access to Mocimboa da Praia and Muidumbe districts, as well as parts of Palma, Macomia and Quissanga districts, remained curtailed due to insecurity. The second half of February 2021 saw an intensification of clashes and attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) against civilians, with 27 recorded incidents. Palma, Nangade and Mocimboa da Praia were the most affected districts, triggering displacement towards Mueda and the southern areas of the Province. Attacks in the northern areas of Palma district—with at least three attacks against civilians reported in Quionga subdistrict—restricted access to northern Palma and to the international border with Tanzania.

The rainy season has partially disrupted air and road access in Cabo Delgado. The use of Ibo and Palma airstrips has been sporadically blocked due to rain but has remained possible on days with better weather. Road access to Mueda has remained possible but is expected to worsen in March 2021 because of flooding rivers.

Road access to Palma town has been affected by poor weather and insecurity, with the road via Pundanhar closed for public transport and diminishing availability of basic commodities for people in the area. Access to Palma town for people and goods has, however, remained possible via air and humanitarian partners were able to deliver nutrition, health—including sexual and reproductive health—and shelter supplies in February. Meanwhile, access to southern Macomia district has improved over the past month. Air access to Macomia town remains possible, and people have reportedly started to return to the area.

Cholera surveillance and response remained disrupted by insecurity in partially accessible and hard-to-reach areas, including Mocimboa da Praia, Muidumbe, Nangade and Quissanga, and outside of the district capitals in Macomia and Palma. Over 1,300 new cholera cases were registered in accessible areas of Cabo Delgado in February, especially in communities hosting large numbers of internally displaced people. Almost 3,000 cases and 16 deaths were recorded in the first two months of 2021, which is higher than the number recorded in the whole of 2020.

Engagement with the Government of Mozambique continued with respect to the urgent need for additional humanitarian visas and requests to waive taxes for internal movement of humanitarian commodities. However, challenges remained. In February 2021, agencies faced a 65 per cent increase in the payment of taxes after it was confirmed that the humanitarian aircraft used to deliver critical cargo, primarily Palma, would not be exempt from taxes.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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