Mozambique: Cabo Delgado Province - Access Snapshot, May 2021

Originally published



The number of displaced people living in ‘hard to reach’ areas in Cabo Delgado decreased from 31,000 in April to around 10,000 in May as a result of people fleeing conflict-affected areas—particularly Palma District. During the same period, the number of displaced people in partially accessible areas reduced from 126,000 to 86,000. As a result, by the end of May, there were 556,000 displaced people living in accessible areas, a sharp increase from 473,000 in April.

In May 2021, access by humanitarian organizations to Palma remained constrained, while access to the rest of Cabo Delgado Province was mostly unchanged. At least 25 security incidents were recorded during the month of May through the Province, mostly in Palma, Nangade and Macomia districts, according to Cabo Ligado, while there were at least three incidents of humanitarians being denied access to visit areas in Palma District by Government security forces. Humanitarians were also not able to travel north from Pemba by sea, given the continued ban on maritime movements imposed by the Government. As a result, humanitarians were unable to visit areas outside of the Afungi perimeter during the month.

Civilians attempting to leave Palma continued to face challenges and were unable to access international protection. At least two attacks by non-state armed actors were reported against boats of displaced people attempting to flee Palma southwards towards Pemba, including one that reportedly killed seven people. The journey remains perilous and expensive, with prices reportedly starting at around 3,000 Mozambican Meticals (approximately US$48) per person. At the same time, people attempting to seek asylum in Tanzania were refouled to Mozambique, with almost 3,800 Mozambicans forcibly returned from Tanzania through Negomano border point in May, according to UNHCR. Despite the dangerous and difficult journeys that they endured, nearly 64,000 people had fled from Palma by the end of May.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit