In July 2021, the armed conflict in Cabo Delgado continued to drive displacement, primarily due to violence and/or fear of violence. Conflict incidents during the month forced thousands of people to flee, particularly in Palma, Muidumbe, Nangade and Mocimboa da Praia districts, including following the deployment of foreign security forces. By the end of July, nearly 120,000 people had left Palma district to seek safety and assistance in other parts of the Cabo Delgado following the major attacks and clashes which occurred in March. Meanwhile, attacks and insecurity in Muidumbe and Nangade towards the end of July caused new displacement, according to IOM’s Emergency Tracking Tool. Reports of people being forcibly returned from Tanzania decreased in July, although this could be linked to security reinforcements by Tanzanian authorities at the border, according to UNHCR which may have prevented people from crossing from Mozambique into Tanzania to seek refuge.
The conflict has hampered people’s ability to access livelihoods and sustenance. An IOM survey of approximately 250 displaced households on Ibo Island in late-June found that 57 per cent of households reported not having an income source, 71 per cent reported not having access to land, and 88 per cent reported a lack of food as a main concern. According to the latest projections from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment, if adequate assistance is not provided, nearly 62,000 internally displaced people and almost 38,000 people from host communities, most of them in Metuge and Pemba districts, will be in Emergency levels of hunger (IPC 4) from October, while high levels of food insecurity—affecting over 900,000 people in northern Mozambique—will increase across all districts during the lean season. Acute malnutrition is affecting nearly 75,000 children under age 5 across Cabo Delgado, and is particularly concerning in Palma, Nagande, Macomia and Quisssanga, according to the IPC analysis. The actual number of children suffering from acute malnutrition is likely higher, as lack of access impeded assessments in Mocimboa da Praia, where humanitarian assistance has not been provided for almost one year.
Although the cholera outbreak was brought under control, malaria and other febrile syndromes continued to rise. Between January and July 2021, about 518,000 cases of Malaria were reported in Cabo Delgado, nearly double the number (287,600) reported during the same period in 2020. Other febrile syndromes affected nearly 100,000 people from January to July 2021, up from just over 66,000 in the same months of 2020. COVID-19 cases decreased in Cabo Delgado in July, with a 3.7 per cent positivity rate reported, but increased in Niassa (nearly 40 per cent positivity rate) and Nampula (10 per cent positivity rate) in the last two weeks of the month. Cholera, however, was not reported in any of the three northern provinces in the last weeks of July.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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