More than 9,900 people were on the move in Cabo Delgado every week in October, either fleeing violence or trying to return to their places of origin, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). Around 50 per cent of those on the move were children under 18, while around 29 per cent were women.
Displacements peaked in the last week of the month, when around 3,600 people were on the move across the Province, mostly in Nangade—where an attack was reported—and Mueda districts. Some returns were also reported in October, mainly from Montepuez to Muidumbe and Mueda; and within Nangade.
The humanitarian situation in northern Mozambique remained concerning, with 99 per cent of people on the move reporting food as their most urgent need, followed by shelter (76 per cent), and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) (40 per cent). In conflict-affected areas of Cabo Delgado, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity persisted, according to FEWSNET, while humanitarian food assistance remained limited to half rations (39 per cent of required daily kilocalories) due to under-funding. Most displaced people are thought to have lost access to their livelihoods and, although some displaced people are reportedly returning to their areas of origin to assess livelihood opportunities, it is expected that many will remain in their current areas during the 2021/2022 rainy season, including due to security concerns. To increase agricultural production, in late October, the government’s Northern Integrated Development Agency (ADIN), with support from the World Bank, began distributing 12,000 MT of seeds and other agricultural inputs to around 350,000 people, including peanut, maize, beans, and sesame seeds, and fertilizer. However, humanitarian food assistance needs are expected to remain high until at least the next harvest in May 2022.
Malaria, febrile syndrome, and diarrhoea remained the major reported diseases across Cabo Delgado in October, with more than 692,100, 142,100, and 36,900 cases cumulative cases of these diseases reported respectively since the beginning of 2021. Assessments during the month highlighted concerning water quality in multiple districts—including Ancuabe, Metuge and Mueda—increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, while 80 per cent of health centres in the nine most conflict-affected northern districts of Cabo Delgado were not functioning, according to ICRC, making access to treatment more challenging for many people.
In October, serious protection concerns—including for children—persisted, with abuses allegedly committed by non-state armed groups and allegations of violations by security forces. As more areas became accessible after months under the control of non-state armed groups, reports increased regarding the use of children by non-state armed groups and of violations, including abduction and sexual violence, according to UNICEF. Unverified video material reportedly showed abducted children as young as five years old handling weapons and being indoctrinated to fight. Also in October, allegations emerged of looting and/or destruction of civilian property by Government forces and pro-government militias, as well as alleged detentions of people trying to reach different areas of Cabo Delgado or transporting goods to markets in the province’s northern-most districts, according to Cabo Ligado.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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